Former Cape narcotics detective seeks to import jury

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

A former Cape Girardeau police narcotics detective facing six felonies wants to have his pool of potential jurors brought in from another county.

Paul E. Tipler, 35, appeared Monday in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court for a case review and to set a trial date. He faces felony charges for stealing, two counts of tampering with evidence, distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of forgery and misdemeanor charges of possession of a defaced firearm -- the serial numbers were marred -- and two counts of patronizing prostitution.

Tipler was fired from the Cape Girardeau Police Department in December after internal and Missouri State Highway Patrol investigations.

Defense attorney Steve Wilson asked Cape Girardeau County Circuit Judge John Heisserer to bring potential jurors from another county with a larger black population. This would increase the chances that his client, who is black, would end up with a jury consisting of at least a few black members, Wilson said.

He suggested choosing jurors from St. Louis County, St. Louis, Boone County, Kansas City and Greene County.

Assistant attorney general Kevin Zoellner was agreeable to the request, but said Kansas City and Greene County were probably too far away to not be a hardship on the jurors.

Heisserer said he would review demographic statistics for the suggested areas and make a ruling in the near future. He set the trial to begin Jan. 27 in Jackson.

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