PHILADELPHIA, Miss.–The court got right down to business on day one of the murder trial of James Kelly, Jr., accused of murder in the killing of Demarcus Houston, whose body was found in four feet of water in a pond in the Hope community in 2019.
Testimony was heard from law enforcement who responded to the scene, as well as Tyrone Braxton, who is serving 20 years for his part in the murder.
|They call it a bifurcated trial,” said 8th Circuit Court District Attorney, Steve Kilgore, talking to our newsgathering partners at WTOK, News Center 11, “In which the first half, the jury decides whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty and then you have a whole different trial to determine what punishment will be set by the jury.”
Nine people were originally charged in the murder. Kelly is the only one to stand trial for murder.