Jury selection continues in trial

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Individual jury selection began Tuesday in preparation for the trial of Devin Wayne Fuller, 20, 3567 Franklin St., Bellaire.

He and Brandon Michael Phelps, 21, 1281 Birch St., Bellaire, are charged with four counts of aggravated murder, committed in the course of rape, of aggravated burglary, burglary and trespassing. Each count carries a death penalty specification. Both face two additional counts of trespassing.

Attorneys for the state and the defense interviewed potential jurors, explaining their duties on a jury and inquiring into their position on matters such as the death penalty and its application, as well as detailing the circumstances qualifying murder and aggravated murder.

According to Prosecutor Dan Fry, the process is proceeding at a slower pace than originally anticipated, but a sufficient jury pool is expected by the end of the week, with regular jury selection to commence next Monday. At that point, testimony concerning the merits of the case should take about five to six days.

If Fuller is found guilty as he is currently charged, the trial will then go into discussion of mitigation.

“It’s a two-stage process,” Fry said. “If he’s found guilty they will go into mitigating potential punishments.”

Fuller faces possible sentences of 25-to-life, 30-to-life, life without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

“Four potential punishments come into play,” he said.

“We’re on a slow track now,” he said.

Fry added that the results of this case will have no impact on the upcoming Phelps trial.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank @timesleaderonline.com