Triple-murder trial set for end of January

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Jury selection will begin Jan. 30 in the trial of Roger Marshall, accused of the 2004 deaths of three people at the Lyle Motel.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton said approximately 150 people will be summoned to the courthouse initially. A jury of 12 plus two alternates will be chosen from among their lot. The process of finding a jury is expected to take two weeks.

“The jurors will come in first and fill out in-depth questionnaires about their qualifications to be jurors,” he said. “Then they will come back in different groups for individual voir dire (questioning). They will be asked about such things as pretrial publicity and their thoughts on the death penalty. Then we will bring everyone back February 16 and 17.” A jury will be seated then.

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Opening arguments should begin Feb. 21. Walton said he anticipates the trial will last 10 days to 2 weeks. Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr, could not be reached for comment.

Charles Knight, co-counsel for Marshall, said the number of witnesses he calls for the defense will depend on what evidence the state submits during presentation of its case.

“We anticipate much of our case will come from the cross examination of the state’s witnesses,” Knight said.

If Marshall is found guilty, the jury will then be asked to decide whether he should receive the death penalty or a lesser sentence. Walton said he anticipates the penalty phase of the trial, if there is one, to take place the first week of March.

Marshall is accused of setting a fire at the motel and killing John Meyer, James Reed and Lolaetta Corbin Hicks.

The Marshall trial is one of two death penalty cases pending in Lawrence County.

The other is that of John David Anderson, accused of robbing and killing Arthur Boyer at his Deering residence in July 2005. A date for Anderson’s trial has not yet been scheduled.

The third murder trial of 2006 will be that of Kimberly D. Delawder, accused of running over a woman with a car in September 2005.

Delawder was to have gone on trial last month but was postponed to allow for receipt of more evidence. A new trial date has not been scheduled.