Potential Missouri Heights juror breathes sigh of relief | AspenTimes.com

Potential Missouri Heights juror breathes sigh of relief

Janet Urquhart

Brian Pettet found out he was excused from potential jury duty in the Kobe Bryant rape trial early Wednesday evening, shortly before prosecutors formally announced they were dropping the case altogether.A Missouri Heights resident, Pettet resides in that sliver of Eagle County that extends into the midvalley. He was among the area residents who received a summons to serve on the jury in the high-profile case.George and Carol Pucak, also of Missouri Heights, were both called to the Eagle County Courthouse last week to fill out the 82-question survey for prospective jurors.Pettet headed to Eagle on Monday to fill out the questionnaire and was awaiting word yesterday on whether he’d be summoned today for follow-up questioning. As it turns out, the Los Angeles Lakers star won’t stand trial on the accusation that he sexually assaulted an Eagle woman.Pettet is director of Pitkin County Public Works, while Pucak manages the city of Aspen’s ice rink facilities.Both men declined to discuss the questions asked of jurors, or their responses, citing Judge Terry Ruckriegle’s orders to the jury pool.Their reticence was rendered moot by yesterday’s developments. In fact, the questionnaire had already been leaked to the media.Though Pettet conceded he was not anxious to serve on the jury, he lauded the system that could have landed him in the jury box for an estimated five weeks, at $50 a day.”It makes you proud to be an American – to be part of that process, where you’re presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he said.Carol Pucak was excused from the pool last weekend, but George was called back Monday to answer clarifying questions in a private hearing attended by Bryant, attorneys for both sides and Ruckriegle.George said Wednesday he was relieved when he was excused from service after the interview.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com