The jury trial of one of the two suspected shooters in last June's double homicide began in Guernsey County Common Pleas Court on Monday.
Court records show that 30-year-old James L. Whatley of Columbus has entered pleas of "not guilty" to two counts of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, as well as one count of aggravated burglary, all of which carry gun specifications. Whatley's five day jury trial began with jury selection on Monday morning. Twenty-one-year-old Deondre Crosby of Zanesville is facing the same charges. His trial has been scheduled for October.
Whatley and Crosby are charged in the shooting deaths of Christopher Morrison and Justain Nelson, who were found dead outside of a Coventry Estates apartment on June 24.
Whatley was taken into custody without incident by the Columbus Police Department SWAT team on January 3rd. He is being held in the Guernsey County Jail on $1 million bond. Crosby had been in custody in Pickaway County on unrelated charges.
Four others have already been sentenced for their roles in the double homicide. 21-year-old Elgin Mitchell of Zanesville was sentenced to 11 years, 22-year-old Tyler Burrell of Zanesville was given 15 years, 23-year-old Megan Blanchard of Cambridge received 10 years and 20-year-old Anjomo "Boomer" Churchill of Zanesville was sentenced to 6 years behind bars.