CATEGORY: Courts

AUTHOR: GIBSON

HED:Crosstown stabbing trial jury seated

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Attorneys took most of Tuesday to seat a jury that will hear testimony in a Crosstown stabbing case.

Seven men and seven women were chosen to serve as jurors and alternates in the murder trial of Alvin L. Robinson, 31, of Route 1, Belden, who is accused in the November 1996 stabbing death of James M. Parks Jr., 44, of Saltillo.

Opening arguments in the murder trial are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today in Lee County Circuit Court before Judge Frank Russell.

Parks died of multiple stab wounds he suffered after he left his car at the intersection of Main and Gloster streets to confront Robinson, the driver of a car that reportedly cut him off on West Main Street, early on the morning of Nov. 5, 1996, Tupelo police investigators have said.

Russell told the jurors he expects the case to run through Thursday.

After the jury was seated, Russell ruled on a defense motion charging racial manipulation of the jury and alternate jurors, which includes four black Lee County residents.

Russell said the defense did not show any pattern of racial discrimination, and several of the prospective black jury members were dismissed because they had close involvement with trial participants or failed to answer the court's questions.

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