500 Prospective Jurors Expected for Belmont County Murder Trial - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

500 Prospective Jurors Expected for Belmont County Murder Trial

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Phelps Phelps
The Belmont County Courthouse The Belmont County Courthouse

Preparations are under way for a major trial coming up in March in Belmont County.

Twenty-year-old Brandon Phelps of Bellaire will go on trial for the rape and murder of 92-year-old Lydia Ashworth of Bellaire. Phelps faces the possibility of the death penalty.

500 prospective jurors will be called for this case, some of whom have already said they can't serve because of physical problems or family hardships. Those individuals will be called in to court on December 20 to explain why. But those who are left will be back in court on March 27. For two straight days, a Thursday and Friday, they'll do very intensive jury selection. Then on the following Monday, the trial will start. It's expected to last two weeks.

(Related story: Bond is Set for One of Two Belmont County Men arrested in a Brutal Murder)