Jury to decide penalty for admitted killer

April 22, 2008 at 6:37 PM
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CALHOUN, Ga., April 22 (UPI) -- Jury selection was under way Tuesday in northwest Georgia for a panel to determine whether a man who has admitted killing four people should live or die.

Jerry Jones pleaded guilty in 2006 without any agreement on the penalty. He admitted killing his own baby daughter, his ex-girlfriend's parents and her aunt in 2004. Jones fled to Chattanooga, Tenn., with his ex-girlfriend's three other daughters and shot himself in the face in front of the three girls as police closed in.

During interviews, lawyers had trouble finding prospective jurors who had not made up their minds about the penalty, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Most favor the death penalty like the man who wrote on his questionnaire "Mr. Jones should meet his maker."

Outside the courthouse, passers-by said police should have let Jones die in 2004.

"I don't know how you find a jury. Everybody's made their minds up. They know what they want to do," said Bryan Phipps, an employee at an office supply store near the Gordon County courthouse.

But prosecutors said they expect to assemble a panel of 60 death-qualified prospective jurors by Thursday so they can go on to pick a final jury of 12 plus alternates.

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