Doffing trial gets under wayThe theft trial for Hastings police officer Rene Doffing got off to a slow start Monday in Dakota County court.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The theft trial for Hastings police officer Rene Doffing got off to a slow start Monday in Dakota County court.
The trial was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday, but a clerical error meant there was no pool of jurors immediately available. The trial was delayed until Monday afternoon, and things got moving just after 2 p.m.
By 3 p.m., a pool of 19 jurors entered court room 2F in Hastings. One juror was excused for having ties to both Doffing and to one of the potential witnesses in the case.
Jury selection is expected to conclude Tuesday morning, with the opening statements to follow. Attorneys expect a day to a day-and-a-half of testimony.
Doffing is accused of stealing a corkscrew from a Hastings restaurant in November 2010. If convicted of theft, he would lose his peace officer's license and, therefore, his job with the force in Hastings.
A second count of theft was added Monday by the prosecution. The two counts vary in that one is essentially charging Doffing with intending to permanently steal the opener, while the other has to do with Doffing temporarily stealing the opener.
While Doffing's attorney, Paul Engh, asked potential jurors questions during selection on Monday, he said that Doffing was planning to testify.