Jury selection begins in Raleigh homeowner's murder trial

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Jury selection got underway Monday for the trial of Chad Copley, a homeowner who fired a shot that killed a 20-year-old.

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Copley was indicted in 2016 by a Wake County Grand Jury on murder charges after police said he fatally shot 20-year-old Kouren Thomas on August 7, 2016. Authorities said Copley fired a shotgun from inside the garage of his house on Singleleaf Lane in Raleigh and hit Thomas, who later died at a hospital.

Chad Cameron Copley, 39

image courtesy Raleigh/Wake CCBI

Copley called 911 that fateful morning to report "hoodlums" on his street and says he fired a warning shot. In the 911 call, he told the dispatcher, "We have a lot of people outside of our house yelling and shouting profanities. I yelled at them, 'please leave the premises.' They were showing a firearm, so I fired a warning shot and we got somebody that got hit."

On Monday, before jury selection began, Copley sat stone-faced as Judge Michael O'Foghludha discussed pretrial issues with the attorneys.

Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas


"I could say the defendant is charged with non-capital first-degree murder, et cetera and the defendant has entered a plea of not guilty," the judge said.

Responding to a question from the prosecutor about questions about race and sex that might be heard by people in the jury pool, the judge said those questions would be allowed.

Jury selection continues Tuesday.

READ MORE: Man accused of murder says he was protecting his home
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