John Backderf was among prospective jurors being screened last week by a judge in Cleveland. He was asked: "Has anyone you know ever been convicted of a crime?"
Backderf responded: "I had a close friend in high school who killed 17 people."
The Plain Dealer reports Monday the answer caused the judge to freeze and lawyers to drop their pens. Backderf explained he knew Dahmer, who was raised in northeast Ohio.
Backderf is a cartoonist and graphic novelist who has short story collection coming soon titled, "My Friend Dahmer." He was dismissed from the jury list.
Dahmer was killed in a Wisconsin prison in 1994.