Jury selection will begin today in the civil trial involving a Clovis horse breeder who made up a life as French royalty and her doctor-husband who admitted to faking her death.
A panel of 60 potential jurors will be sent to Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan's courtroom. Typically, lawyers select 12 people for the jury and a few alternates, said Sherry Spears, a court spokeswoman.
The case involves Dr. Michael Weilert, 61, and his reclusive 50-year-old wife, Genevieve de Montremare. A lawsuit accuses Weilert of faking his wife's death in order to enhance her legend as a breeder of Friesian horses and induce a Southern California couple to buy the doctor's 15-acre horse ranch in Parlier at an inflated price.
At issue is whether the Weilerts committed fraud and breached a contract with the buyers, Brian Gwartz and Cheryl Skigin. The Weilerts contend the ranch was sold "as is" and that they told the buyers that they should investigate the property before they bought it.