Opening statements are scheduled to start at 10 o’clock this morning in the trial of a northeast Iowa man accused of murdering his former football coach. Jury selection for Mark Becker’s trial began Wednesday and by last night, the pool of 220 potential jurors had been whittled down to 16 — a dozen jurors and four alternates.
Ten men and six women will sit in the jury box when the case opens today at the Butler County Courthouse in Allison. Witnesses say Becker shot Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas to death last June.
Becker’s attorney is Sue Flander, a public defender, who asked potential jurors how they felt about insanity as a defense for murder. Flanker plans to pursue a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity or diminished responsibility.