Prosecuting Attorney May Waive Death Penalty In Green Murder Trial In Randolph County
Jury selection concluded late Wednesday, May 2nd for the retrial of Billy Green at the Randolph County Courthouse here. Opening statements were to begin 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Despite a previous avid avowal that he would seek the death penalty for Billy Dale Green in the brutal slaying of a family of four in Dalton, Ark., in 1998, 3rd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry R. Boyce Monday said he would waive the death penalty and go for life without parole.
Boyce in late October told news outlets, â€œWe are seeking the death penaltyâ€ for Billy Green.
Green was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 by the 3rd District Circuit Court. That was declared a mistrial by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2006 and he was ordered to be given a new trial. Green has since sought to have all charges against him dropped on grounds of double jeopardy and prosecutorial misconduct. The State Supreme Court denied this plea on March 3, 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3, 2011, included Greenâ€™s petition for review among a list of those being summarily dismissed, allowing the state decision to stand.
The prosecution and defense Monday began wading through a crowd of about 500 prospective jurors on their way to empaneling a jury for the capital murder trial at the Randolph County Courthouse.
Both sides Monday released a list of possible witnesses. Boyceâ€™s list included Charles â€œChad â€œ Green, attorney Larry Kissee, and Billyâ€™s former wife Mary Green Wilson.
Chad Green, Billyâ€™s son, was found guilty of murder on all four counts by the 3rd District Circuit Court in Randolph County on Sept. 16, 2011. He was sentenced to four consecutive life terms plus 40 years for the kidnapping of the 8-year-old girl. He told the court March 12 that he was willing to testify in the retrial of his father, even though his own appeal is still pending.
Jury selection continued The trial is expected to last two weeks.