Husband was convicted in May of killing David O'Dell
BATH — Six jurors were seated Wednesday during the first day of the arson-murder trial of Iryn B. Meyers.
Jury selection was expected to continue at 9 a.m. today in the large courtroom “A” with the Steuben County prosecution team and defense attorneys Brenda Smith Aston and David A. Hoffman looking to agree on eight more jurors, a number that would include two alternates.
Iryn Meyers, 38, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree arson, as well as to related counts involving attempted insurance fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy. All the charges are in connection to the death of David N. O’Dell of Wayland. O’Dell was killed Feb. 15, 2016 in a structure fire at his residence on New Galen Road in Wayland.
In May, a county jury convicted Iryn Meyers’ husband, Joseph A. Meyers, of first and second-degree murder, two counts of arson, three counts of falsifying business records, and single counts of attempted insurance fraud and conspiracy. Joseph Meyers, 45, will be sentenced by Steuben County Court Judge Joseph W. Latham on July 21. Latham is also presiding over the trial of Iryn Meyers.
A Steuben County Grand Jury indicted Iryn Meyers and Joseph Meyers in April of 2016 for murder and arson, accusing the couple of killing the 60-year-old O’Dell, a close friend of the pair, to collect some $140,000 in insurance proceeds.
Officials said a pool of about 175 people were called to the courthouse in Bath on Wednesday for the first day of jury selection. A court official said approximately 50 people were excused during the morning session for various reasons, including some who have closely followed media coverage of the cases.
Legal experts say having an awareness of a high-profile case is not necessarily disqualifying, however, jurors must be able to promise that their prior knowledge will not affect their impartiality.
Officials said a second panel of potential jurors would be called to the courthouse today, joining returnees from the first panel, for questioning by the attorneys.
Like her husband’s trial in the spring, Iryn Meyers’ trial is expected to include testimony from New York State Police investigators, state and county fire investigators and insurance agents. The jury in Joseph Meyers' trial also heard from an expert cell phone mapping witness, and saw surveillance video of the Meyers couple in the immediate hours before the fire started. The video was taken from Joseph Meyers' own surveillance system at his business/residence at Loon Lake.