Jury selection begins in murder trial - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7.19.04

Jury selection begins in murder trial

Nearly 200 potential jurors packed a New Hanover County courtroom for a capital murder trial that's now underway.

The defendant is Paul Dwayne Cummings. He's accused of stabbing 62-year-old Jane Truelove Head to death in the Dogwood Trailer Park, near Wrightsville Beach back in 2002.

If found guilty, Cummings faces the death penalty.

It was almost two years ago when Head's body was found in her mobile home. Just next door lives Pearline Ransom, Cummings' mother. She turned her son into authorities, but has always said he's innocent.

"I don't think he would have hurt her at all, he was your average 21-year-old," Ransom said in an interview the day after the murder. "Jane was like a mother to me."

A mother that was taken away from her, possibly by her own son.

Now, as Cummings' defense lawyers and state prosecutors choose amongst a large jury pool, families from both sides settle into courtroom 403, which will be their new home away from home until the fate of Cummings is decided.

Stay tuned to News 6 and wect.com for updates on this continuing trial.

Reported by Nicole Konkal

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