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Grissett murder trial jurors selected, opening statements begin Thursday

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By Sam Hickman

BOLIVIA — A jury has been selected for the trial of Richard Hugh Grissett, who is accused to beating 86-year old Linnie Mae Ward to death with his hands during an alleged burglary at her Longwood home in November 2012.

After a two-day suppression hearing, jury selection began just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2, and lasted until 5 p.m. The jury is comprised of seven men and five women, with two alternate jurors. The group was chosen from a pool of 75 candidates.

Judge Wayland Sermons ruled Tuesday, April 1, that a recording in which Grissett tells investigators he is responsible for the death of Ward can be admitted as evidence in the trial.

Grissett is charged with first-degree murder and faces life in prison without parole if convicted, District Attorney Jon David said. David is prosecuting the case with Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger.

Sermons will hear another motion to suppress before opening statements begin Thursday. Grissett’s lawyer, Mike Ramos of Shallotte, filed a motion Monday to remove all photographs showing Ward from evidence.

Once Sermons determines whether the photos are admissible, prosecutors will make their opening statement.

Ramos said he doesn’t know if he will make an opening statement or reserve it until he begins his case for the defense.

The trial, which began Monday, March 31, is expected to last about two weeks.

Grissett has also been charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon in this case.

 

Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.