The Washington Post

Jury selection in off-duty assault case of transgender woman begins

Jury selection in the case of a District police officer charged with assaulting and soliciting sex from a transgender woman last year is scheduled to begin Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Opening statements by attorneys could begin Tuesday afternoon if a jury is selected in trial of Kenneth Furr, who was arrested after an August 26 incident.

Furr was charged with nine offenses — including multiple counts of assault and assault with a dangerous weapon — after an incident in which, according to authorities and interviews, he tried to solicit sex from transgender women, leading to a collision between two vehicles and gunfire.

Prosecutors said Furr, 48, was off-duty and intoxicated in the early morning of August 26 when he fired five shots through the windshield of a car in which the transgender women were riding, striking a passenger in the arm and hand.

Furr’s attorneys, with the District’s Public Defender Service, said their client was attacked first and acted in self-defense. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Furr, who joined the department in 1990, is currently on “indefinite suspension” without pay from the force, a police spokeswoman said Monday.

Judge Russell F. Canan told prosecutors Monday that if a jury has been selected by the lunch break, the trial could move to opening statements and witness testimony in the afternoon.

The trial is expected to be complex and feature testimony from police officers and members of the transgender community. At a hearing Monday, Canan reminded one reluctant witness that she had to be available for trial, or risk being held in contempt.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.
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