Jury selection begins in trial of man charged with killing father

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2021

SALISBURY — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a man charged with first-degree murder for beating his father to death.

Juan Renardo Chunn, 52, was charged with the crime in 2018 after Eugene Chunn was found dead inside his residence at 816 E. Franklin St. Emergency responders were called to the home in the early morning hours of April 19 after an initial report that he had suffered cardiac arrest. The 72-year-old former mill worker was dead when firefighters and paramedics arrived and had a number of blunt trauma injuries to his head and body.

Family members said Eugene Chunn lived alone, but Juan Chunn had been staying at the home for several weeks leading up to his death.

The Salisbury Police Department issued warrants for Juan Chunn’s arrest in July 2018, and a grand jury indicted him for first-degree murder. First-degree murder is a class A felony in North Carolina and can result in the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Juan Chunn wasn’t found by authorities until August 2018, when he was arrested by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. Juan Chunn was extradited back to North Carolina, issued a $1 million secure bond and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Juan Chunn is represented in the trial by John A. Basinger. The prosecution is led by Assistant District Attorneys Brian Taylor and Marsha Goodenow. Judge Lori Hamilton is presiding.

The prosecution and defense spent Monday vetting jurors by asking each a series of questions, eventually selecting 10 jurors. Once the 12-person panel and alternates are chosen, each side will deliver opening arguments. Taylor told one potential juror he anticipates the trial lasting the duration of this week.