Blair County judge grants change of venire in Jackson murder case

A Blair County judge has ruled that a jury from outside Blair County will hear trial proceedings in a case involving the homicide of Shari Lee Jackson in May of 2001.
Blair County District Attorney David Gorman said yesterday that Judge Jolene Kopriva recently granted a defense motion seeking a change of venire in a case where authorities are accusing Kristin Marie Edmundson of helping to kill the Hollidaysburg woman and trying to cover up the crime by burning the body.
Marie Louise Seilhamer of Ashville RD is also charged with first-degree murder in the case, but will be tried separately from Edmundson.
Both women could receive the death penalty if convicted on the top charge on the indictment.
According to Gorman, the motion for change of venire was granted due to the extensive media coverage of the incident.
Gorman said the Blair County court administrator will contact the state Supreme Court concerning the situation, afterwhich that authority would decide which county the jurors would be selected from.
Gorman said historically in Blair County, change of venire requests that are granted usually bring juries from the Lebanon and Lancaster county areas.
“Theoretically, we’re looking at picking a jury sometime in the end of January or February,” said Gorman.
If that is the case, the trial for Edmundson would commence approximately one week after the jury is selected. Gorman expects the trial to last two weeks.
Also charged in the case are Scott Allen Custer and Amanda Speicher, both of Boswell, who are accused of helping to burn Jackson’s body.
According to police affidavits, Seilhamer is accused of striking Jackson in the head with a baseball bat on May 5, 2001, in a wooded area located off state Route 453 in Snyder Township. Police said Edmundson then slit the woman’s throat with a box cutter. Police claim jealousy as the motive for the crime.