State

Jury selection delayed in Modesto murder trial

The trial of two men charged with murder in the 2004 drive-by shooting of Ernestina "Tina" DeJesus Tizoc in Modesto's Oregon Park was continued until Wednesday.

It was expected that jury selection would start this week, but the case was delayed Tuesday after Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley agreed with defense attorneys' claims that a story about the slaying in Sunday's Bee and subsequent online comments about the article could taint a jury pool, according to Deputy District Attorney Tom Brennan.

He argued that such a ruling was premature because a jury pool had not been called. Ashley disagreed.

Asked for a response from Ashley, Mike Tozzi, executive officer of the Superior Court, said: "Judges are not allowed to comment on cases that are pending before them.

Any comment by the judge regarding the continuance would be part of the court record.

So no further comment from the judge will be offered."

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