- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A jury was selected Tuesday in the trial of a Spokane resident accused of killing a man who was taking his vehicle.

In a case that has inflamed passions on both sides of the gun issue, Gail Gerlach is charged with manslaughter in the 2013 shooting of Brendan Kaluza-Graham, 25.

Gerlach has said he fired when he thought he saw Kaluza-Graham flash a gun while taking the vehicle. Police found no gun in the vehicle. Prosecutors say the shooting was not justified because there was no imminent threat.

Opening statements were set for Wednesday.

Lawyers on both sides began making their selections Monday from a pool of 100 potential jurors in the courtroom of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

“We’re not trying to find people who haven’t heard about this case,” defense lawyer David Stevens said. “We’re looking for people who can put those things aside.”

On March 25, 2013, Kaluza-Graham jumped into Gerlach’s vehicle as it was idling outside his home and started to drive away. Prosecutors say Gerlach fired a shot that went through a vehicle window and struck Kaluza-Graham in the back of the head, killing him.

If convicted of manslaughter, Gerlach faces up to a decade in prison.

One potential juror was dismissed Monday after telling the judge he felt Gerlach had the right to defend his property. Another was dismissed after she said people who carry guns are courting trouble.