Judge mulls outside jury in Pa. doc’s poisoning

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Defense attorneys say jurors from another county should be brought in to hear the homicide case of a University of Pittsburgh researcher accused of having poisoned his neurologist wife.

Prosecutors in Allegheny County allege that 65-year-old Robert Ferrante gave 41-year-old Autumn Klein cyanide April 17 in their Oakland home. She collapsed that night and died three days later.

After Tuesday’s defense motion for an outside jury, Judge Jeffrey Manning polled 78 potential jurors about their knowledge and opinions of the case. Thirty-six said they had heard of or read about the case and 13 said they had formed a fixed opinion.

Manning said Tuesday’s results indicate that defense concerns have “some validity,” but he cited a 2000 mass murder case for which officials were able to pick a local jury.

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