The capital murder trial of a Smiths Station, Ala., man accused in the slaying of an Auburn freshman resumes Monday.
Courtney Lockhart, 26, could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder in the attempted rape, kidnapping and robbery of 18-year-old Lauren Burk.
Lockhart is accused of kidnapping and shooting Burk, of Marietta, Ga., on March 4, 2008. Burk was found lying in the roadway of Ala. 147 between Lee Road 72 and U.S. 280 with a gunshot wound. She died at the East Alabama Medical Center and police later found her black 2001 Honda Civic burning in an Auburn parking lot. Police said Lockhart had a pistol when he forced Burk into her car, made her drive around and disrobe before shooting her.
Lockhart was arrested days later. Police said he confessed after his arrest.
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The trial began Nov. 8 with jury selection. It took until Friday to pick the jury.
District Attorney Nick Abbett said Friday that a naked Burk leaped from her moving car as Lockhart, in the driver’s seat, shot her. Passing motorists testified they spotted her and tried to help.
Her father, James Burk, testified that he knew his daughter was dead as soon as he saw the face of then Assistant Police Chief Tommy Dawson the night of the shooting.
Defense attorney Joel Collins said prosecutors must prove intent, and said Lockhart didn’t intend to kill Lauren Burk.
Collins told jurors in his opening statements that the panel must understand his client’s life and how his military service in Iraq changed him.
Abbett said he has about 50 witnesses to present and that should take through Wednesday. Defense attorneys said they should finish by Friday.