Jury selection begins in Ex-UNC student’s fatal crash trial

Chandler Kania in court Aug. 16, 2016. (David Hurst/CBS North Carolina)
Chandler Kania in court Aug. 16, 2016. (David Hurst/CBS North Carolina)

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A total of 170 potential jurors were called Tuesday in Chandler Kania’s trial gets underway in Hillsborough.

Many of the jurors brought in said they have heard of the Kania case. But the majority said they can put aside what they’ve heard and look at the facts.

Chandler Kania

In July 2015, officials said Kania drove drunk the wrong way on Interstate 85 in Hillsborough and crashing and killing Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte, Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and 6-year-old Jahnice Beard of Brooklyn, New York.

The three victims were headed to Charlotte after traveling to Virginia for a family reunion.

Officials said their Suzuki sedan was hit head-on by a Jeep Wrangler driven by Kania.

Kania was underage at the time of the crash in July 2015.

RELATED: Full Chandler Kania coverage

On Monday, Kania pleaded guilty to several charges, including three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, but not guilty to the second-degree murder charges and the reckless driving charge.

Potential witnesses in the trial could include the 9-year-old girl who survived the crash and the victims’ family members. Friends and family of Kania could also be called to the stand.

Deseante Jones, a daughter of a crash victim, was in court Tuesday and spoke with CBS North Carolina.

“I feel like I have to see firsthand what occurs and also in honor of my mother, and her friend, and Felecia’s granddaughter, Jahnice,” Jones said.

She said she is still angry and not done grieving.

“It’s like a rush of emotion, she said. “I’m saddened by a lot of things that I hear.”

Opening statements are expected to take place right after jury selection is over.

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