Jewell murder trial begins


RIPLEY - The prosecution called nearly half of its expected 23 witnesses Tuesday in the first day of testimony as the trial of accused murderer Trinity Jewell got under way in Jackson County with Judge Thomas C. Evans III presiding.

Proceedings began with opening statements from Shannon Baldwin, prosecutor, and Bill Bostic, defense attorney.

During her opening statement Baldwin described each of the three instances in which Jewell is accused of using a pillow to smother her three-month-old child Emily.

She called the case "one that shocks our sensibilities" but also one that was "intentional, deliberate, malicious and premeditated."

"This case is all about choices," she told the jury.

Following Baldwin's statements, Bostic addressed the jury and said although the case involved "the tragic story of the very short like of Emily Jewell" it is "subject to interpretation" and doesn't necessarily equate to first-degree murder.

Bostic also informed the jury Jewell would be called to testify and said although there would be "uncertainty and ambiguity" throughout the trial, he urged them to "consider all the evidence."

After Bostic finished his opening remarks, Baldwin called Chea Mellinger, 911 dispatcher, as her first witness.