DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Did Joel Bailey know the difference between right and wrong when he allegedly shot his father and mother? That will be a big question jurors will have to decide as Bailey's murder trial moves ahead.
The tedious process of questioning prospective jurors continued in the trial of Joel Bailey as prosecutors and defense attorneys worked to seat a panel that can be fair to both sides. Bailey is charged with first degree murder of his father, Eugene Bailey, and attempted murder of his mother Dorothy who was shot in the head but survived. Dorothy has been seated in the courtroom throughout the jury selection.
Attorneys asked a variety of questions aimed at finding out if prospective jurors have pre-conceived ideas or opinions that might prevent them from being fair. Much questioning had to do with their attitudes about mental illness since Bailey has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
Defense attorney Sam Jones asked prospective jurors if they would hold it against Bailey if he makes inappropriate facial expressions such as smiling when it seems he shouldn't. Jones was suggesting Bailey suffers from schizophrenia for which that's a symptom.
The burden to prove the defendant was insane at the time of the crime is on the defense and that burden is less difficult or a lower standard of proof the one required to find someone guilty of a crime.
Late in the afternoon the jury and alternates were seated. A jury of nine women and three men has been picked to hear the case along with two alternates.
Opening statements are expected to begin at ten in the morning. Before that a defense motion will be argued before the judge.