TS - Jury selection begins in trial of Whitmill, Flores

Jury selection begins in trial of Whitmill, Flores

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the trial of Jason Whitmill and Anthony Flores more than one year after they are accused of participating in a street race down State Route 299 that allegedly caused a collision that killed a 9-year-old girl, according to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

The beginning of jury selection comes after several motions to delay the trial were made by the defense in an attempt to suppress blood-alcohol evidence that was taken from Whitmill, 31.

Whitmill and Flores, 19, are accused of being involved in a street race on State Route 299 outside Arcata on Oct. 6, 2008. Prosecutors allege that when Whitmill tried to pass Flores' vehicle, his car clipped a Chevrolet Tahoe, which spun off the road and slammed into a power pole.

The crash killed 9-year-old Nicole Quigley and seriously injured her mother, Debra Quigley, both of whom were in the Tahoe.

Whitmill has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence causing injury and engaging in a speed challenge. Flores has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, engaging in a speed challenge and participating in a hit-and-run injury.

Whitmill's defense attorney has submitted three motions in court to suppress the blood-alcohol evidence against Whitmill, saying it was illegally drawn against the defendant's will. The motions were unsuccessful and the jury selection is scheduled to proceed as planned, according to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

Ken Quigley, father of Nicole Quigley, has faithfully attended all the court proceedings of Whitmill and Flores with many friends and family.

Often they would wear pink in commemoration of Nicole because it was her favorite color. Nicole's twin sister has also attended some of the hearings with her family.

Ken Quigley said his family has attended a year's worth of hearings and they are anxious for the trial to proceed.
”We just want to get the thing over with,” Ken Quigley said.

Ken Quigley expects the actual trial to begin in early 2010 because of how long jury selection can take and the upcoming holiday season.

Allison White can be reached at 441-0506 or awhite@times-standard.com.
Allison White/The Times-Standard
Posted: 11/23/2009 01:27:15 AM PST
Whitmill and Flores trial date delayed another month 08/04/2009
Whitmill, Flores take District Attorney's deal 12/05/2009
Jury selection begins in trial of Whitmill, Flores 11/23/2009
Whitmill, Flores trial to proceed 11/10/2009
Motion denied to suppress blood sample in Whitmill case 11/06/2009
Whitmill faces murder charge for alleged role in crash 10/15/2008
Quigley family, friends remember 9-year-old Nicole 10/06/09
Nearly one year ago 10/01/2009
Case surrounding fatal crash on Highway 299 delayed 09/15/2009
Too many delays 9/10/09
Legal maneuvers slow case of men charged in 9-year-old's death 09/01/2009
Whitmill and Flores trial date delayed another month 08/04/2009
Evidence, charges unchanged against Whitmill 07/17/2009
Evidence for second degree murder charge? 06/19/2009
Thinking of the Quigleys 05/29/2009
Remember Nicole 05/08/2009
Looking forward: Quigley family watches and waits as case continues 05/17/2009
Defendants in 299 wreck plead not guilty 03/28/2009
Judge holds Whitmill, Flores to answer for 299 wreck 03/14/2009
Wife refuses to testify against husband at preliminary hearing 03/13/2009
Investigator testifies suspect in fatal crash changed story 03/12/2009
Officer testifies about 299 crash at prelim 03/11/2009
Preliminary hearing over Highway 299 wreck continues 03/10/2009
Superior Court delays hearing in 299 crash case 02/11/2009
Broken system 01/23/2009

Hug your children 12/03/2008
Vehicular manslaughter suspect has extensive criminal history 11/13/2008
Whitmill-Flores hearing continued 11/06/2008
Street race case waiting on CHP reports 10/23/2008
Authorities seek Mustang passenger for questioning 10/17/2008
Court document: Flores tried to 'subvert' investigation 10/16/08
Whitmill faces murder charge for alleged role in crash 10/15/2008
Authorities arrest driver of Mustang 10/10/2008
New driver named in fatal collision 10/09/2008
Search continues for other driver in fatal crash 10/08/2008
◼ ER Parolee named as driver in fatal collision
◼ TS New driver identified in fatal crash
◼ TS New driver named in fatal collision
TS Update: ☛ TS Police still looking for driver
◼ TS Driver sought: Suspected drag race on 299 results in fatal crash

Note: There were other articles in the Eureka reporter, but none are available online anymore.