Juror Selection begins

Published 11:50 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jury selection for one of four defendants in a double murder case begins today at the Pike County courthouse.

Brandon Jamal Ryles is charged with three counts of capital murder in the deaths of Carla Smilie and Mark Adams, who were found shot to death inside of Adams’ residence in the Needmore Community on April 5, 2011.

Four people were charged for the murders.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Marquise McClaney was charged with three counts of capital murder, but pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder on the third day of his trial in August after agreeing to provide a testimony against Ryles.

McClaney’s cousin, Troy, had pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder in February in exchange for a 20-year sentence.

John Contrel Foster had also reached a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office in February. Foster pleaded guilty to two counts of felony and agreed to truthfully testify in both Ryles’ and McClaney’s trials. Foster’s plea was revoked after he refused to testify in McClaney’s trial in early August.

Ryles and Foster have both been placed on the scene of the crime during testimonies from Adams’ landlord, Charles Green, a resident of the Needmore Community, and McClaney during his initial statements to Troy police officers.

Ryles’ trial, which is slated to begin Monday Sept. 8, will be presided over by Circuit Judge Shannon Clark, said Jamie Scarbrough, district and circuit clerk for Pike County.

“We hope to be done selecting jurors by this Friday,” Scarbrough said. “We have to go through interviews, cross questioning and do a panel of interviews with the jurors before we can officially choose them. As of right now, everything is going as scheduled.”