Jury selection in the trial of the 16-year-old accused of shooting a former classmate in at Martinsville West Middle School will begin July 1 – using jurors from outside Morgan County. Plea deal negotiations broke down Wednesday in the case against Michael Phelps, who will be tried as an adult for allegedly shooting Chance Jackson, 15, in March.
“We were just nowhere near an area that we believed could be an appropriate resolution to the case,” defense attorney Steven Litz said.
Litz said he’s happy the case will be heard by a jury from a different county, even though he feels pre-trial publicity may impact the outcome.
“I still think the county is far enough away that it won‘t be subject to anything approaching what we‘ve seen so far,” he said.
Jackson spent weeks in the hospital recovering from his wounds. The trial is slated to begin July 11.