Murder trial jury process starts in Cameron
Two hundred and ten potential jurors showed up at Cameron’s Williams Civic Center Tuesday to begin the legal process that will lead to the Brandon Cotton capital murder trial. A total of 500 had been summoned.
Selecting a jury for the death penalty case, involving the April 25, 2011, shotgun slay ing of 50-year-0ld San Gabriel resident Sandra “Sandy” Phillips, is a long and meticulous process.
What’s under way is jury qualification, a process to determine how potential jurors view the death penalty.
In just under three weeks—Nov. 4—attorneys are scheduled to continue the jury selection process with individual interviews of prospective jurors.
The trial itself is scheduled to begin Dec. 2 in the 20th District Courtroom.
STATEMENTS—The pre-trial skirmishing has already begun.
District Judge John Youngblood has denied a motion to suppress statements made by Cotton to law enforcement officers April 25, 26 and 27.
Cotton’s attorneys sought to have those statements, made to Chief Deputy Chris White, Sheriff David Greene and Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann, admissible as evidence that may be presented to the eventual jury.
DELAYED—Cotton and Tanner Aaron Baker, both of Rockdale and both 19 at the time of the slaying, were arrested at separate Rockdale convenience stores, within hours of Mrs. Phillips’ slaying.
A decision on whether to seek the death penalty for Baker, has not yet been made by District Attorney Bill Torrey.