Jury selection under way in Johnston Co. murder

Matthew Hagert Salentine
September 29, 2012 4:09:02 AM PDT
A murder trial in the 2010 death of the wife of a well-known Smithfield attorney could begin soon.

The jury selection process has been going on for four weeks in the murder trial of Matthew Hagert Salentine. He's charged in the death of 74-year-old Patricia Stevens.

ABC11 has learned that part of the problem it could be taking so long is because it's a capital case, which means the jurors who will be seated will have to be comfortable sentencing Salentine to death if he's convicted.

Back in 2010, Stevens was found beaten to death in her home in the 300 block of North Third Street. She was the wife of the late Austin Stevens, who practiced law in Johnston County for many years.

Jury selection could be completed as soon as Monday.

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