Jury selected to determine sentencing in 1979 murder case

1979 Murder Case

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - 5:30 p.m. UPDATE:  A jury has been picked to re-determine the sentence of a man convicted of capital murder in 1980.

At least 10 jurors had been picked by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for the case involving David Lasley, 54, of Jonesboro, with the rest done by later in the day. Nearly 30 people had been called Tuesday at the Crittenden County Courthouse in Marion for the case. The prospective jurors were asked several questions during voir dire, which involves the questioning of jurors.

The questions included if the prospective juror had ever lost a loved one or they could send Lasley back to prison, according to reports.

Court will reconvene at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Marion courthouse.

In the first case of its kind in Arkansas, a convicted murderer will get another shot at parole.

According to Prosecutor Scott Ellington, David Lasley, 54, of Jonesboro will appear in court Tuesday for a sentencing retrial. Lasley was convicted of capital murder in 1980 for the 1979 murder of Wanda Turnbow.

Lasley forced Turnbow and Thomas Lloyd, both employees of J.C. Penney at the Indian Mall, into the vault of the store before he robbed it. Lloyd was unharmed, but Turnbow was shot three times. She died at the scene.

Lasley was 17-years old at the time of the murder. The case was brought back into the limelight when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional.

News reports from 1980 suggest that Lasley was previously employed at the store and was suspended on suspicion of theft.

In 1980, a jury in Crittenden County heard the case to ensure a fair trial and jury selection. Jury selection begins Tuesday in Crittenden County.

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