Jury selection began Tuesday in the murder trial of Jerrell Johnston and Nathaniel Sparks, accused in a double murder in East Preston over two years ago.
Brandon Beals, 21, and Martaze Provo, 25, were shot to death outside an after-hours club on Upper Partridge River Road Dec. 10, 2006. Johnston and Sparks are accused of second-degree murder in their deaths, and of attempted murder in the shooting of Vantino Beals, who survived.
The two accused men, formerly of Cherry Brook, were living out West at the
time; Johnston in Edmonton and Sparks in Vancouver. Both accused pleaded not guilty Monday morning, the first scheduled day of their trial.
The murders shocked the North Preston community and prompted an anti-violence march early in 2007.
Hundreds of potential jurors – double the number normally called for a single trial – were packed like sardines into the largest Nova Scotia Supreme Court courtroom. Justice Gerald Moir warned them the trial was scheduled to last a full month.
“I expect there will be evidence of gunshot wounds, including photographs,” Moir said.
After a morning of hearing requests for exemptions from jury duty, Moir adjourned court for the afternoon. Jury selection will continue Tuesday.