Woodburn trial fall 2018

Former state senator Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield, sits in a courtroom last fall during a hearing on his arrest. He is charged with assaulting his former domestic partner.

LANCASTER — A jury has been picked for the July 31 trial of Jeff Woodburn, the former state senator from the North Country who is charged with assaulting a former domestic partner.

Court officials said the jury was picked this past Monday.

Last August, Woodburn, 54, of Whitefield, who represented Senate District 1 from 2014 to 2018 and was the Senate Democratic caucus minority leader, was arrested on nine misdemeanor charges: four counts of simple assault, two counts of domestic violence, two counts of criminal mischief and one count of criminal trespass.

In court documents, the state alleges that between August 2017 and June 2018, Woodburn on separate occasions bit a woman, struck her in the face and stomach, and kicked in the locked door to her home.

Court documents identify the alleged victim as Emily Jacobs, who at the time was Woodburn’s fiancée and the chairman of the Coös County Democratic Committee.

Woodburn, who has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, rejected calls from Democratic Party leaders to resign his seat. He ran for reelection to the Senate last November, losing to Republican David Starr of Franconia.

Represented by attorney Donna Brown, Woodburn has maintained he was the victim in a difficult relationship with Jacobs and that when he attempted to end it, Jacobs brought forth her accusations.

Paul Donohue, a Littleton psychologist and counselor whom both Woodburn and Jacobs saw to work on their relationship, is the defense’s sole trial witness, while the state said it will put seven people on the stand, including Jacobs.

In the lead-up to Woodburn’s trial, the state has filed four motions to exclude certain testimony.

Two of the motions — “to exclude sexual items returned by the victim to the defendant” and to exclude “allegations of sexual assault made by the victim against the defendant” were sealed at the state’s request by Judge Peter Bornstein.

The state also wants Bornstein to preclude allegations of theft made against Jacobs by the defense during cross-examination in connection with Woodburn’s journal, which the state said he left at her residence and which contained admission of some of the charged behavior.

Additionally, the state wants the defense to not be able to cross-examine Jacobs on any wiretapping/eavesdropping charges in connection to conversations with Woodburn that may have been recorded.