Twelve jurors will decide if a prominent local jeweler knowingly attempted to resell stolen merchandise and hide it from investigating officers.
William McBurney, 56, an employee of the San Luis Obispo-based business All That Glitters, is facing felony charges including receiving stolen property, delaying a police officer, and conducting a second-hand business without a license.
In court, McBurney, dressed in a black suit with an expensive-looking bracelet and gold-colored rings shimmering from his hands, turned, bowed, and smiled politely to the group of potential jurors.
On Jan. 17, prosecutor Karen Gray and McBurney’s defense attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, began jury selection.
According to Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy, the trial is expected to last between two to three weeks. Jurors are expected to hear from roughly 20 witnesses, including eight police officers from Atascadero and San Luis Obispo, two of McBurney’s sons, and another well-known local jeweler.
“This case will be an interesting one,” Duffy told prospective jurors.
McBurney was arrested after officers, investigating a number of thefts in Atascadero, allegedly found stolen items at his store, including a 2-carat $35,000 diamond ring snatched from a vehicle in Atascadero.
Opening arguments are expected to begin Jan. 19 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
*This article was changed on Jan. 26, 2012 to reflect that William McBurney is an employee of All That Glitters, not the owner.