Telly Hankton jury seated amid tight security

Telly Hankton jury selection begins amid tight security

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Under tight security, a jury was seated Monday in the trial of a man once called the most dangerous criminal in New Orleans.

The judge has ordered that all jurors in the trial of Telly Hankton will remain anonymous.

The media had to listen to the court proceedings through what's called an overflow room. The feds say Hankton was the ringleader of a deep-rooted drug organization that operated in the Uptown and Central City areas since 1996.

He was indicted on federal racketeering, murder, drugs and weapons charges. Hankton is already serving a life sentence for a state murder conviction in one of the three deaths. He's on trial now with three other men.

"It's always a balancing act for the judge when they want to put in these types of measures because the Constitution, the Bill of Rights says you must have a free and open trial situation. So it's a balancing act and it really speaks to all the things that are going on and all that we've heard about Telly Hankton and his crowd," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Federal prosecutors announced they will not seek the death penalty in this case. This trial is expected to last about three weeks.

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