TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Jury selection is under way for the first of nine defendants charged in the killing of 40-year-old Natalie Gibson.
Anceo D. Stovall faced Judge Evelyn Wilson, bespectacled and clad in a purple shirt and striped tie as she, defense attorney Jonathan Phelps and prosecutor Chris Bigg went through what looks like a two-day long jury selection process.
125 prospective jurors filled the courtroom at the Shawnee County courthouse to the seams. By early afternoon, the judicial team was still processing prospective jurors.
They spoke one on one to a few dozen prospectives who sought to be excused based on the hardship imposed by what is expected to be a three-week long trial.
12 jurors and 3 alternates will be selected in the end.
The 26-year-old Stovall faces charges including first-murder in the shooting of Natalie Gibson. Gibson was killed and 41-year-old Lori Allison wounded when they were shot outside their home on SW Quinton in July of last year.
Nine people, including four juveniles were charged with felony murder and aggravated robbery in a crime spree that claimed Gibson's life.
Stovall's trial will be followed by a series of trials of other defendants scheduled from July through October.
Phelps says he will present evidence that his client was not present when the two women were shot.
Jury selection is expected to continue into a second day Tuesday.