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Jury selection for a double murder-rape case is set to begin Monday.
Michael Vanhise, 23, and Robert Christopher Asch, 61, are facing charges of conspiring to rape, torture and murder women and children. The Associated Press reports that this case came about during a different case involving former New York police officer Gilberto Valle. Valle was convicted last year of plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women.
Vanhise is a co-defendant in the Valle case, CBS News reports. He had planned to help Valle kidnap, rape and kill a woman.
No one was harmed in this case, giving defense lawyers an opening to claim that these charges are just a misunderstanding.
“It is vitally important that those chosen to serve on this jury not have such strong reactions to these topics and practices that it will be difficult for them to be fair and impartial,” a statement for the case said.
Asch, along with for ex-chief of police in Bedford, Mass., Richard Meltz, had offered to help Vanhise rape and murder Vanhise’s wife, sister-in-law and sister-in-law’s kids before they were busted in 2013. Meltz pleaded guilty to the charges last month.