Jury seated in East Tennessee deputy murder trial

KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jury selection is finally over in the trial of Leon Houston, one of two Roane County brothers accused in the shooting deaths of a deputy and a former police officer.

The jurors will hear lawyers for both sides make opening statements at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, then the prosecution will begin presenting evidence, trying to establish that Leon Houston is guilty of either first degree murder or felony murder.

Leon Houston arrived at the courthouse in Kingston Tuesday morning, where he was quickly taken inside for day two of jury selection.

Security is heavier than normal for this trial. All who enter the courthouse have to pass through two metal detector checkpoints before entering the second floor courtroom.

Leon Houston and his brother, Rocky Houston, are each charged with the May 2006 shootings of Deputy Bill Jones and Mike Brown.

Brown, a former officer, rode along with Jones as he went to the Houston’s home in the Ten Mile community.

That's when a gunfight broke out.

In a hearing late Tuesday afternoon, lawyers for both the defense and the prosecution agreed that the lawmen went to the Houston home to serve a warrant on Leon’s brother, Rocky Houston, who will be tried separately for the murders in November.

The Houstons have previously alleged that they were victims of ongoing harassment by the Roane County Sheriff’s Department.

They have also made claims that the officers fired at them first.

Jurors will hear the evidence and decide for themselves.

Either side could try to call Leon’s brother Rocky as a witness.

At a hearing Tuesday afternoon, Leon Houston’s lawyer, Jim Logan, told the judge that he's not sure whether he'll call Rocky to the stand.

Logan says Rocky's lawyer has advised him to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, meaning he would not answer questions.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 25479114 - local8now.com/a?a=25479114
Gray Television, Inc.