Friday, October 24, 2014

Trial opens for Fayette County man accused in death of nine-week-old infant


By Pat Cooper

The murder trial of a Fayette County man in connection with the death of his infant son began the jury selection process on Monday morning.
Jamal Rashad Thomas, 22, of Fayetteville, was arrested in February 2012 and charged with two counts of felony murder, two of cruelty to children and aggravated assault.
The state opened the murder trial against Thomas, a graduate of Sandy Creek High School, with a lengthy voir dire, asking the potential jury pool questions regarding their experiences with law enforcement, medical and emergency personnel, as well as the legal community.
Griffin Judicial Circuit assistant district attorney Warren Sellers and defense attorneys Robert Rubin and Jason B. Sheffield went through a series of 39 potential jurors by Tuesday afternoon as they sought to winnow down the field to the required 12.

The trial will include a first in Fayette County, with a witness for the defense testifying via Skype from Los Angeles as he was unable to travel to appear in person.
The witness list includes members of the medical community from a variety of locations, including Tri County Pediatrics, Southern regional Medical Center, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, as well as members of the Fayette County Emergency Services Division.
The jury was expected to be selected by late Tuesday afternoon - after press time- and opening arguments are anticipated to begin on Wednesday morning, with the trial being projected to last two weeks.


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