Jury Seated in Murder Trial of West Memphis Man Charged in Trooper's Death

NOVEMBER 29, 2006 - Posted at 7:30 a.m. CST

FORREST CITY, AR - A jury was seated and opening statements began yesterday in the capital murder trial of a West Memphis man blamed for the death of an Arkansas State Police trooper struck by another officer's car.

The jury will decide on whether 27-year-old Wesley Jefferson is responsible for the trooper's death after leading police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 40 on September 11, 2005.

Corporal Mark Carthron was struck by another trooper's car when he was picking up a spike strip.  Carthron died later at a Memphis hospital.

Defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig says Carthron's death was a tragic accident, but his client was not responsible for it.

State law says a person can be charged with capital murder if in the course of a felony or in flight from a felony, the person or an accomplice causes the death of another under circumstances involving extreme indifference to human life.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)