TWIN FALLS - Cayde Lee Lish's high-profile manslaughter case is set to start Aug. 19, and throngs of potential jurors swarmed the courthouse Monday to be asked what they know about the case of Jerimiah Paiz's stabbing.
Lish, 22, is accused of stabbing Paiz 13 times in the back and once in the arm, puncturing a lung twice.
Paiz, 24, died of those wounds after arguing with Lish outside Canyon Crest Dining and Event Center last Oct. 6.
Police tried to revive Paiz, but he later died at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center.
The county courthouse filled three times Monday with potential jurors completing confidential questionnaires on their knowledge and possible links to the case.
District Judge Richard Bevan wanted those forms to be done before the trial to ensure an impartial jury be seated in the controversial case.
Lish, wearing a suit rather than his usual orange jail jumpsuit, attended the pre-trial conference with his attorney, Keith Roark.
Ada County special prosecutors George Gunn and Kai Wittwer also appeared. They took the case after Twin Falls County prosecutor Grant Loebs said too many people in his office had some connection to Lish, Paiz or their families.
Likewise, District Judge Randy Stoker withdrew from the case in December, saying he knew the case circumstances and the victim, and he didn't feel comfortable being judge for that trial.
The large jury pool will be winnowed to a few dozen to be called Aug. 19. Thirty will be chosen from those, and then 14 will be selected to hear the case.
Bevan said the attorneys would see the completed juror questionnaires by late Monday or this morning.
The attorneys agreed to use those forms to weed out as many jurors as possible so juror questioning on the trial's opening day will go smoothly, as the judge has requested. Bevan would like opening arguments to begin that afternoon.
If the lawyers disagree about which would-be jurors to oust, a hearing may be scheduled.
During the pretrial conference, the attorneys discussed possible witnesses and exhibits.
The state's exhibits are mostly photographs, Gunn said, along with two videos, including a detective's interview with Lish, and possibly audio from an officer at the stabbing scene.
Bevan took time during the pretrial conference to explain Twin Falls County court procedures to the Ada County prosecutors.
The judge said they can take turns with opening and closing statements, but only one prosecutor will be allowed for each witness.
"Don't tag-team witnesses," Bevan said.
Bevan noted that he doesn't allow attorneys to re-cross-examine witnesses except in certain circumstances, and he told the attorneys they'd be allowed to move around the courtroom during the trial.
A second pretrial conference will be held Aug. 15 for any last-minute matters.