Jurors selected in Cortland County case against Clark; two alternates still needed

Twelve community members were selected to the jury on Monday for the Cortland County court case against Zachary Clark. But, two alternate jurors are still needed for the case.

County judge Julie Campbell held another jury selection today to solidify the two alternate spots. The case resumed this morning at 8:30 a.m.

Clark, 27, of Elm Street in the city of Cortland, has been accused of shooting city police officer Chad Knapp three times on March 27 of last year. It led to a 12-hour standoff. Clark surrendered the following day at 8 a.m.

Clark has been charged with attempted murder in the first degree, attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, two counts of menacing a police officer or peace officer, and aggravated assault upon a police officer.

He has also been charged with assault in the third degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, prohibited use of a weapon and two counts of menacing misdemeanors in the second degree.

The selection of potential jurors went through two rounds, with 18 handpicked for each round. Eleven potential jurors were dismissed in the first round, which led to another round of 18.

The potential jurors in each round were handpicked by a large group of community members.

In the second round of potential jurors, only five more jurors were selected, which led to the shortage of jurors preferred for the case.

Through the selection of jurors, Judge Campbell, Clark’s defensive attorney Jerome Mayersak and District Attorney Patrick Perfetti asked the potential jurors a series of questions. The questions asked played a role in solidifying jurors in each round, and dismissing them if they weren’t the best fit for the jury.

Campbell’s questions ranged from personally knowing Perfetti to asking if any of the potential jurors were victims in cases they were involved in.

Perfetti asked a variety of questions, including if people with mental disorders should be held accountable for their criminal acts and seeing if anyone had shared views of police reform and/or defunding the police.

Mayersak’s questions included if people were troubled by the nature of the case, and if there is a presumption of innocence.

A majority of the potential jurors either said no or expressed their views on certain questions.


The Cortland Voice will provide daily updates on this case.