All of Monday was taken up with selecting a jury to hear the case. The panel ultimately chosen includes seven women and five men, with one alternate.
A jury had been struck to try Jung in March 2007, but Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth declared a mistrial before that jury could begin deliberating.
Ellis and a hitchhiker, Wayne Whitely, ended up in the parking lot of the Burger King off I-20 in Lincoln by mistake, after Whitely fell asleep and Ellis missed his exit in Birmingham. Whitely admitted that both men had been drinking.
Ellis apparently got into an argument with a group of teenagers and police were called. Pollard and Jung responded.
According to Whitely’s testimony, Ellis was pulled out of the truck by Pollard, slammed into the side of it and then hit on the head with a flashlight. Jung then kicked him, and both men proceeded to beat him for several minutes, according to the state’s version of events.
Whitely has a lengthy criminal history by his own admission, and attacks on his credibility were central to the defense in both Pollard’s trial and Jung’s previous one.
The defense contends that Jung used appropriate force, and that Ellis’ death was accidental. During the previous trial, they also tried to suggest he might have had other injuries before arriving in Lincoln.
If convicted, Jung faces 10 to 99 years or life in prison.
Across the hall, before Circuit Judge Julian King, a separate jury of nine women and four men was selected to hear evidence of Roderick Jemison.