PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A death penalty murder trial is getting under way in Paducah.
The judge said jury selection could be long and tedious as the court prepares to try Mark Taylor in the death three years ago of 21-year-old CaSondra Evrard. The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/S4EVnB ) reported lawyers begin seating a jury on Wednesday.
Taylor is one of seven people charged in Evrard's death in December 2010. He was indicted on charges of murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. If he is convicted, the death penalty could be invoked.
Taylor's wife, Jamie Taylor, entered a guilty plea on Dec. 12 to murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence in the case in exchange for a life sentence that included the eligibility of parole in 20 years.
The couple's daughter, Jasmine Taylor, also is charged with murder and kidnapping and has a March trial scheduled.
Jamie Taylor could be called as a witness during both proceedings.
Four other defendants in the case, who are related to the Taylors, have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges related to the slaying.
Police say Evrard was reported missing on Dec. 10, 2010, and was found dead the next day in a creek bed with stab wounds to her chest and lacerations to her face and neck.
McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer said Friday that 975 potential jurors had been summoned. Of that number, 24 percent are available for questioning by attorneys.
"Cases like this get a tremendous amount of scrutiny, especially if someone is convicted and sentenced," Clymer said. "Very small, minor and seemingly less serious mistakes can lead to a reversal in a death penalty case. That really has to do with the ultimate finality of the sentence."
Prosecutors say jury selection is expected to take three days while the trial is expected to take three weeks.
Clymer says he advised defense attorney Craig Newbern and lead prosecutor Raymond McGee to avoid the use of leading questions and influencing jurors.
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com