Opening Arguments Underway in Jennifer Ross Murder Trial

Jennifer Ross, from a family photo.
Jennifer Ross, from a family photo.

Update 12:05m: Prosecutor Christy Barker told jurors defendant Michael Thorpe told his friends "the b---- shouldn't have bucked" as to why he shot Jennifer Ross.

Barker says the robbers tried to take her purse, she resisted, and Thorpe shot her in the back when she tried to run away.

According to Barker, when Ross was shot, the bullet hit a main vein that takes blood from the legs to the heart. She should have bled to death. Surgeons were able to save her.

On New Year's Day the artery burst. Surgeons worked on her for six hours, but she bled to death.

Barker says a fourth man at the robbery, Sean Thorpe, was granted immunity and will testify against the three men on trial. Barker told the jury she can prove every detail of what he will say. She wrapped up her opening arguments at 12:01pm.

Richard Darden, Thorpe's attorney, is now presenting opening statements.

Update 11:40am: Prosecutor Christy Barker has begun opening arguments.

Update 11:15am: Court is now in session for opening arguments. The jury was finalized by 10:30am. Judge Penny Haas Freesemann is giving instruction to the jury.  The jury is made up of five white women, two white men, three black men, one black female and one asian female.  There are also two alternates.

It's day four for jury selection in the trial of three men accused of murdering a Savannah teen. Jennifer Ross, 19, was gunned down in downtown Savannah last Christmas Eve. She died New Year's Day.

The defendants, Michael Thorpe, Webster Wilson and Kevin Huckabee, have sat quietly as their attorneys questioned the men and women who will decide their guilt or innocence.

Yesterday afternoon, Judge Penny Haas Freesemann pushed back jury selection till this morning because they could not get all the previously qualified jurors back to the Chatham County Courthouse by 2pm, in time for jury selection to take place.

Judge Freesemann has qualified 49 jurors, more than enough to select a jury of 12 men and women, plus two alternates.

This morning, attorneys from the defense and prosecution will each get to strike 12 jurors without cause, and they get three strikes for each alternate.

Once a jury is seated the attorneys will begin their opening arguments. That's expected some time today.

WTOC's Michelle Paynter is at the courthouse and will have frequent updates for her Jennifer Ross Murder Trial

WTOC will also have the latest on today's proceedings on THE News at 5 and 6.

Contact the WTOC News team