• Attorneys for man accused in home invasion witness slaying want survey of potential jurors


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Attorneys for a man accused of killing a witness in a home invasion case are trying a new tactic to get his trial moved out of Orange County.
    Attorneys for Bessman Okafor asked the judge to allow them to survey around 1,000 Orange County residents asking about their knowledge of the case.
    Rafael Zaldivar, the father of the slain man, Alex Zaldivar, was in court while attorneys for Okafor asked the judge for the survey.
    "Anything to stall, anything to wait. If witnesses go away this trial definitely goes away as well, so anything to prolong it, it's in their best interest," said Zaldivar. 
    Defense attorneys said they don't believe they can get a fair trial in Orange County because of publicity about the case.  
    WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said he believes the request is a bad move by Okafor's defense.
    "There's more potential harm than benefit in sending out a jury questionnaire to the general community," said Sheaffer.
    Sheaffer pointed out a higher profile case -- George Zimmerman's murder trial -- that was able to seat a local jury.
    He said if people who aren't familiar with the Okafor's case get a cold call or survey it could poison unbiased potential jurors.
    "If you don't know anything about Okafor and you get this questionnaire, what's the first thing you're going to do? You're going to Google, 'Who's Okafor?'"  he said.
    Sheaffer said because attorney Dean Mosley is a public defender, taxpayers will pick up the costs.
    "The potential cost of this type of questionnaire runs into the thousands of dollars," said Sheaffer.  
    Okafor is accused of violating his home confinement and killing Alex Zaldivar inside Zaldivar's Ocoee home just before Zaldivar was set to testify against Okafor in a home invasion trial.
    "I just want him tried. I want it all finished," said Zaldivar.
    But one jury was recently seated in a Orange County in a case against Okafor.
    He was recently convicted, and is serving prison time for the original home invasion case.

    "It's in their best interest that they stay in prison, I can tell you that right now," said Zaldivar.

    Next Up:

  • Headline Goes Here

    Attorneys for man accused in home invasion witness slaying want survey…