Jury selection for the trial of Stephen Robert Falkenberg in connection with the death of Tamara LaFramboise of Yankton is set to begin at the County Courthouse and Yankton Safety Center today (Thursday).
Falkenberg has pleaded not guilty to second degree homicide for the death of LaFramboise, his former girlfriend whose decapitated torso was found in a river in Michigan near Falkenberg’s family farm in March.
Due to the large jury pool of 200 or more, the court has set aside the first three days of what is expected to be a two-week trial for jury selection.
Monday, the court released an order that prohibits most recording equipment in the courtroom and addresses other issues of decorum, including:
• Cell phones, computers, recorders, transmitters, other electronic devices and cameras are not allowed in the courtroom even if they are turned off.
• Audio and video recording or broadcast of jurors at any time is prohibited by law.
• Food and beverages are not allowed in the courtroom.
• No purses, backpacks, briefcases, bags or containers of any type larger than 6-by-6-by-4 inches will be allowed.
• All individuals entering the courthouse or Yankton Safety Center may be subjected to an electronic or other type of search.
• Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis, and the court may exclude individuals if there are no seats available.
• Those attending the trial are expected to dress in keeping with the dignity of the court, to be quiet and orderly while in the courtroom and any adjacent areas, and not to obstruct the orderly flow of people in and out of the courthouse and safety center.
• No one is to interfere with proceedings in any way or try to influence counsel, parties, witnesses, jurors or the court.
• No potential or seated juror may be contacted by anyone other than the court or court personnel until the jury is discharged at the conclusion of the trial.
• Once jury selection is complete and the trial begins, no one will be allowed to enter or leave the courtroom until a break or recess is called — unless they have prior permission from the court.
Any banned items brought into Courtroom A in violation of this order may be confiscated and the individual with the device/item may be excluded from the proceedings.