Day one over in the trial against an accused hit man

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COLUMBIA -The trial against the man authorities believe was hired to shoot and kill a Columbia man's lover began Monday morning.

In January 2015, a jury found James Thompson guilty of first-degree murder for hiring his childhood friend Casey Lewis to kill his lover, Brian Daniels.

During opening statements, the prosecution said Thompson had an elaborate plan to kill Daniels and he enlisted the help of Lewis to do so. The defense countered, saying Thompson was a "con artist" and acted alone in killing Daniels. The defense played the 911 call Thompson made after Daniel's death.

Jury selection began just after 9 a.m. Monday and wrapped up around 2:30 p.m. Attorneys selected 15 jurors in total, including three alternates to serve during the trial.

More than 100 jurors were questioned. Judge Gary Oxenhandler began the selection by stating the importance of having qualified and unbiased jurors on the case. There was also discussion of the role media coverage has played in jurors' knowledge of the case and how it will influence them.

Judge Oxenhandler said he expects the trial to last until Friday.

[Editor's note: This story is being continually updated with the latest information from court.]

 

 

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