Murder trial set to begin today

ALBANY, Ga. -- A two-day jury selection process headed for an end after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Dougherty Superior Court in a murder case presided over by Judge Willie Lockette.

"We will have a jury today," Matthew Breedon, assistant district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit, said Wednesday.

The defendants are Tavaress Sinqunce Jackson, 22; Kendrick Lewis Sanders, and Lekeisha Rhonecia White, both 19. They are charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Jackson and White also face charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and criminal damage to property. All are charged in connection with the shooting death of Dominic King, 24, in January at 1910 Meadow Drive.

The defendants are being tried together with separate attorneys.

James Finkelstein represents Jackson, Sandra Satchell is Sanders' lawyer and Ingrid Driskell is White's attorney.

On Monday, Eugene Derrick Bell Jr., 19 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to malice murder and three counts of criminal damage to property. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

By 6:30 p.m. Wednesday the defense and the prosecutors had stopped interviewing prospective jurors. They were into the task of narrowing the pool down to 12 jurors and a possible three alternates.

Finkelstein seemed to take the most time interviewing prospects.

Finkelstein frequently asked prospective jurors if they could "give the same rights, privileges and principles of law" to gays and young blacks that they would anyone else.

Finkelstein also asked if "a gay person is attacked, do they have the same right to be protected by a third party as any other person would?"

Barring motions or other legal maneuvers, Breedon said he believed opening arguments could start this morning.