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Murder trial begins with jury selection

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY – Rowan Deputy M.T. Poole never had a chance to sit down after being called to the jury panel for the first-degree murder trial of Larry Wayne Call.
Poole was quickly dismissed Monday after telling the court he knew practically everyone who would be called in the case.
Poole was one of 10 dismissed Monday as prosecutors and defense attorney Darrin Jordan questioned jurors’ backgrounds and knowledge of the case.
Larry Wayne Call is accused of killing 52-year-old Kevin Michael Rufty during the summer of 2010.
Investigators found Rufty, who was an acquaintance of Call’s, slumped over in his 1995 Buick LeSabre off Grubb Ferry Road on June 27, 2010. Call had “several stab wounds to the chest area,” according to a search warrant obtained by the Post.
Rufty’s vehicle had struck a tree in the 1900 block when deputies arrived. Authorities believe Call was inside the car with Rufty at the time of the murder.
Jessie McKeithan Brady, now 45, was also charged with felony accessory after the fact to murder. That charge is pending.
The trial will begin when jurors have been selected. It is expected to last throughout the week.
Superior Court Judge W. David Lee, of Union County, is presiding over the trial. It is not a death penalty case.
Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook spent most of the morning asking potential jurors about their background and knowledge of the case. She later dismissed three jurors.
Cook also warned that a murder trial takes time and jurors would have to consider evidence over several days.
“As Judge Lee indicated early on, this is not going to be CSI,” Cook said.
Darrin Jordan, Call’s attorney, picked up in the afternoon and dismissed an additional three jurors.
Both Jordan and the prosecutors spent additional time questioning jurors with backgrounds in medical training or medicinal backgrounds.
Jordan, of Whitley and Jordan, P.A., explained to jurors they could hear from a state medical examiner and were to use common sense and reasoning, but not a background of medical training.
“The only evidence you can really consider is not what you know, it’s what you hear on the stand,” Jordan said.
Assistant District Attorney Tim Gould spent the remainder of the afternoon questioning jurors.
Jury selection will resume Tuesday morning.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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