Jury Selection Underway for Accused Killer of ASU Professor

APRIL 27, 2004 - Posted at 7:20 a.m. CDT

STUTTGART, AR - Jury selection in the trial of a teenager accused of killing an Arkansas State University professor is scheduled to continue today.

About 25 potential jurors were eliminated yesterday.  The jury will hear evidence against Kirk Otis, who was 14 when Barney Smith was shot.  Smith was killed in July 2001 while sitting on his mother's front porch in Stuttgart.

Circuit Judge David Henry has barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty for Otis, now 17.  Prosecutors say Otis also robbed Smith, who was a military science professor at Arkansas State's Jonesboro campus and a lieutenant colonel in the Arkansas National Guard.

If convicted, Otis would face life in prison without parole.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)