- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Jury selection is under way in the Spartanburg County murder trial of a man accused of shooting an 8-year-old girl after a judge ruled the defendant has the mental capacity to face the death penalty.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports (https://bit.ly/1n8chgj ) the judge made the ruling Monday in a motion that was sealed.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys then began picking jurors for the trial of 55-year-old Ricky Blackwell Sr. Authorities say Blackwell put the 8-year-old daughter of his ex-wife’s boyfriend in a headlock in July 2009, then shot her in the head.

Blackwell’s attorneys argued in a three-day hearing last month that his IQ was not high enough to face the death penalty.

Jury selection is expected to take much of the rest of the week.


Information from: Herald-Journal, https://www.goupstate.com/

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