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Arunya Rouch Publix parking lot shooting trial: Execution or insanity? Openings today in Publix coworker murder trial

7:40 AM, Jun 13, 2012   |    comments
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Surveillance video of accused shooter Arunya Rouch entering a Publix in Tarpon Springs.

 


 


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Clearwater, Florida -- Two quite different stories are expected in today's planned opening statements in the trial of Arunya Rouch.

Rouch is accused of killing her Tarpon Springs Publix coworker in the supermarket's parking lot in 2010.

Prosecutors are likely to say Rouch carefully planned an execution of her coworker, Greg Janowski. The defense is expected to contend Rouch was insane at the time and couldn't tell right from wrong.

The trial will be back in session Wednesday morning, when its final few jurors will be chosen. Nine of the twelve people needed have been picked so far.

Folks involved in the case were at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater late Tuesday, until almost 9 p.m.

Judge Tim Peters said no one was going anywhere until they'd gone through the first batch of 56 potential jurors summoned that day.

One of the reasons for the late night? A strange clothing-related delay.

For some hearings, defendants are allowed to go to court still wearing their jail outfit. But when there's a jury there, they must be wearing plain clothes so the jury isn't prejudiced against them.

It turns out the street clothes Arunya Rouch's attorney brought for her to wear were too small. Finally, after a scramble for new clothes, she came in wearing a floral sweater and pink skirt.

A panel of 56 potential jurors were then led in and asked what they knew about the case. Nearly three-quarters of them said they had heard about it, and some had followed it closely.

Rouch's defense attorney asked for a change of venue, saying his client couldn't get a fair trial in Pinellas County because of that publicity. Judge Peters denied the motion; the trial will stay put.

Opening statements could begin as soon as 1 o'clock Wednesday, after the last few jurors are picked.

Prosecutors will say Arunya Rouch carefully planned to kill Janowski, who was a husband and father of four.

Police say she shot him just hours after she had been fired because she had threatened Janowski at work.

The defense has hired mental health professionals to analyze Rouch's mind and will likely argue she was insane at the time and can't be held accountable for her actions.

Over the course of the trial, jurors may get to see some of the physical evidence against Rouch, like the green reusable Publix bag that police say she used to hide her gun as she headed into the store looking for more targets.

Rouch faces life in prison is she's convicted.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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