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DECATUR – Jury selection in the new trial of Elliott T. Murphy for murder dragged on through Monday in Macon County Circuit Court and will continue Tuesday.

The case is expected to start later Tuesday after a jury is finally seated in the case of Murphy, 23, who is accused of being in a gang that stomped 61-year-old Jerry Newingham of Decatur to death in 2009 and almost killed Kevin Wilson, 46, a short time later in random attacks.

Murphy and his half-brother, Deonta Johnson, were found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a jury in 2011; Murphy received an 80-year sentence and Johnson was sentenced to 65 years. But, in separate appeals, they were both granted new trials.

In the case of Murphy, the 4th District Appellate Court ruled the case must be retried because of a conflict of interest his lawyer had involving the representation of a prosecution witness in an unrelated case.

Johnson's case was sent back because the appeal judges ruled the judge who transferred him from juvenile to adult court did not take into consideration advantages of treatment available within the juvenile justice system.

Johnson's new trial is set for pretrial hearings on March 31.


Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.