PARAGOULD, Ark. (AP) - Jury selection has accelerated in the capital murder trial of a man accused of fatally shooting an Arkansas police officer last year.
Nine jurors had been seated by Wednesday afternoon in the trial of 38-year-old Jerry Lard. The process of picking jurors began on Monday and has been slow.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Lard, who they say killed Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt in April 2011 following a traffic stop.The Jonesboro Sun reports
that defense attorneys acknowledge Lard caused Schmidt's death, but argue he shouldn't be found guilty of capital murder because of mental disease or defect.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are scheduled to resume their questioning of prospective jurors Thursday.
The trial in Greene County Circuit Court is expected to last into next week.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)