ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Lawyers rolled their caseload back into the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County on Thursday, as the court tries to narrow down a jury pool of about 300 people to 12 jurors with alternates.

Criminal defense attorney, Latoya Francis-Williams, who is not associated with the case said this phase is crucial.

READ MORE: Jury Selection Underway In Capital Gazette Mass Shooting Case

“In a high profile case, you want to get it done right. The reality is everyone wants closure, everyone wants finality, and if the procedure isn’t right, nine times out of ten, we’re going to do it again,” said Francis-Williams.

Most of the jurors knew something about the 2018 mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.

There were three current or former journalists in the room. One of the potential jurors works for NPR and that news organization did a series on the victims but that potential juror didn’t work on the story.

Other potential jurors knew one of the victims. One woman told the court Wendi Winters visited with her years ago when the potential juror had a personal tragedy.

Another man told the court a friend’s daughter was murdered in the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting. When asked if he could be impartial, he told the judge, “I would love to say I have the mental capacity to not reflect on those incidents, but those experiences are pretty traumatic and they would weigh on me.”

Francis-Williams reminds us that the jurors are human.

“A juror is expected to disregard information that was not admitted, so if we have potential jurors that cannot set that aside, if we have potential jurors that would really get distracted by their emotions and their feelings, then they would not make a fair, they would not make a good juror,” said Francis-Williams.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to killing Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John Mcnamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters but the court will have to determine if he’s criminally responsible.

One woman bluntly told the judge “I believe you are responsible for the actions you take and you should suffer the consequences and not be babied about them.”

Several people were excused from jury duty Thursday for a variety of reasons. By the end of the day Thursday, the court announced there were more than 70 qualified jurors.

The hope is that number will be narrowed to 12 jurors with alternates on Friday.

Ava-joye Burnett