January 17, 2024
Jury selection in the second federal criminal trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby kicked off Wednesday morning.
At around 10 a.m., attorneys in the case along with U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby began the task of selecting 12 jurors and four alternates from a broader pool of prospective jurors.
This jury will be asked to decide whether Mosby, 43, committed mortgage fraud in connection with the former elected prosecutor’s purchase of two vacation homes in Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prosecutors allege Mosby made several false statements on loan applications from the properties: An eight-bedroom house near Orlando and a condo on the Gulf Coast.
A separate jury in November convicted Mosby of two counts of perjury, finding that she lied about suffering financial hardship because of the pandemic to obtain about $80,000 from her city retirement fund that she used to help purchase the homes.
While that jury heard how Mosby spent the money she got from her retirement fund, those jurors were tasked only with determining whether Mosby lied to make herself eligible for the withdrawals under the federal CARES Act, Congress’ landmark coronavirus relief package.
Jurors chosen to decide the mortgage fraud charges won’t see evidence about Mosby’s use of the CARES Act. But if the former state’s attorney chooses to testify, she’ll have to acknowledge having been found guilty of perjury, Griggsby ruled before the trial.
Mosby’s lawyers say she didn’t knowingly lie on the mortgage applications, contending she is innocent of the charges.
The trial was supposed to begin in earnest with opening statements Thursday, but it’s unclear if Griggsby will be able to stick to that timeline. Jury selection was scheduled to start Tuesday but Maryland’s federal courthouses closed because of inclement weather.
Griggsby set aside three week’s for Mosby’s trial. The judge said she will not sit on Fridays.