Jury Finally Seated for Trial of Accused Killer of Slain ASU Professor

APRIL 30, 2004 - Posted at 7:04 a.m. CDT

STUTTGART, AR - After four days of jury selection, the capital murder trial of a teenager accused of killing a professor three years ago is set to start on Monday morning.

Kirk Otis was 14 years old when Barney Smith was fatally shot July 20, 2001, while sitting on his mother's front porch in Stuttgart.

The jury was seated at about 8:30 Thursday night.  Lawyers also chose two alternates.

Circuit Judge David Henry has barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty for Otis, who is now 17 years old.

Prosecutors say Otis also robbed the 49-year-old Smith, who was a military science professor at Arkansas State University's Jonesboro campus and a lieutenant colonel in the Arkansas National Guard.

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