Mahan murder trial to be continued

PONTOTOC - Difficulty in scheduling expert witnesses to testify in the capital murder trial of Sherry Lynn Mahan will cause the trial date to be set back, possibly until 1997.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin today. As yet a new date for the trial has not been set. The scheduling of the new trial will depend upon available space on the court calendar, said Pontotoc County Circuit Clerk Tracy Robinson.

Mahan, 21, of Ecru, is accused of murdering 18-year-old Cindy Tutor of the Randolph Community in Pontotoc County.

Mahan and her live-in boyfriend, Ashley Ray Stites, 29, of Ecru, were arrested on Jan. 30, 1995 and charged with capital murder, armed robbery and burglary in the Tutor case.

Prosecutors intend to prove that Mahan, with the help of Stites, kidnapped and murdered Tutor by beating her to death with a tire iron, stole the keys to the Dollar General Store where she worked and used the keys to enter the store and steal about $4,500 from a safe.

Stites pleaded guilty to the charges against him in March and was sentenced by Judge Thomas J. Gardner to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A motion by Mahan's defense attorneys for a change of venue in the case was denied in June by Circuit Court Judge Frank Russell.

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