Jury selection to begin Monday in decades-old murder trial - WKRN News 2

Jury selection to begin Monday in decades-old murder trial

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Jerome Barrett Jerome Barrett
Marcia Trimble Marcia Trimble

Jury selection for the trial of the man accused of killing a Vanderbilt University student more than three decades ago will begin Monday in Chattanooga.

Sarah Des Prez was 19 years old when she was found dead in her apartment near the university in 1975.

Police believe Jerome Barrett raped and suffocated her.

He was arrested in November 2007 after police linked DNA found in Des Prez's bedding to him.

Barrett, 61, is also charged in the 1975 murder of nine-year-old Girl Scout Marcia Trimble, who disappeared during the same time period Des Prez was killed.

A judge ruled Friday the jury in the Des Prez case will not hear any references about the Trimble murder or Barrett's religion.  He is a Muslim.

Barrett will go on trial for the Trimble murder later this year.

In both trials Barrett will be tried under the statutes from the year the crimes were committed, 1975, thus he does not face the death penalty and the jury will likely be asked to sentence him.

After jury selection is complete, the selected jurors will travel to Nashville on Tuesday.

A pre-trial hearing is set for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Opening statements are expected to begin Wednesday morning.

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