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Murder trial in shooting death of Walter Phelps set to start Monday

A jury was seated Friday for the murder trial of Jordan Harris

ALBANY — The murder trial of a man accused of the 2010 shooting death of a former Lee County commissioner is expected to open Monday.

Opening arguments are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. in Dougherty Superior Court in the trial of Jordan Harris, who is charged with murder in the July 3, 2010, robbery and shooting of Walter Phelps, who succumbed to his injuries a month after the armed robbery.

A trial jury was seated late Friday afternoon. Juror selections began Monday.

Phelps, 67 at the time of his death, was the owner of P&P Garden and Hardware store at 2500 N. Slappey Blvd., where the shooting occurred about 8 a.m. P&P has since closed.

Authorities say Harris was using Phelps’ credit card at a Lake Park clothing outlet to pay for $2,200 worth of clothes a few hours after the shooting. Four other men also were among those initially connected to the attack on Phelps.

Harris, already serving 20 years for a Lee County robbery, was sentenced to two life in prison terms in August 2011 on armed robbery charges in the holdup of an Albany convenience store.