A jury was picked on Wednesday.
Jury selection was completed on Wednesday in the trial of Melvin "Rock" Smith, whose charged with the fatal shooting of a Frederick woman last year. A panel of seven men, five women and four alternates were picked.
Opening statements are expected to get underway on Thursday morning at 9:00 AM.
Prosecutors had hoped to begin opening statements on Wednesday after jury selection, but something came up. "Unfortunately, there was a juror that expressed privately to judge and counsel some sort of reason why she no longer wanted the seat," says State's Attorney Charlie Smith. "That took up the remainder of the afternoon. And unfortunately, opening statements did not occur."
Melvin Smith, whose not related to State's Attorney Charlie Smith, is charged with 1st-degree murder and other offenses for the shooting death of Tranice Richardson, 33, in July, 2011, outside of her apartment in the Hillcrest Community. He fathered at least one of Richardson's four children, according to State's Attorney Charlie Smith. Melvin Smith fled the scene the night of the homicide, but was picked up in McKeesport, Pa. three weeks later, and brought back to Maryland.
State's Attorney Charlie Smith says the trial is expected to continue into next week. He says his office plans to call 30 witnesses to the stand, and will present some forensic evidence. But he didn't want to comment as to how strong a case prosecutors have. "We don't indict and we don't pursue cases unless we believe we can prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And, of course, we believe that in this particular case," he says.