Minor trial begins in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2001

A jury was selected and testimony began Monday in the trial of Aldrick Minor, who is charged with murder in the Jan. 15 shooting death of Anna Loftin Blank of Woodville.

Men who were playing cards with Minor in a house in the Broadmoor subdivision have said Minor left the house for five or 10 minutes in the early morning hours, told them he &uot;4-30’ed the b–,&uot; referring to Blank, said Assistant District Attorney David Hall.

In his opening statement, Hall also said witnesses had told sheriff’s deputies Minor showed them a .25-caliber handgun after he returned to the house.

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But on the stand Monday afternoon, one of the men who was present at the house that morning, Jarrell Harris, said he understood &uot;4-30&uot; to mean that Minor simply told the girl &uot;not to come around no more.&uot;

In his opening statements, defense attorney Kevin Colbert called the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses into question.

&uot;He didn’t mention anything except the word of the four card players,&uot;&160;Colbert told jurors, referring to Hall’s opening statement. &uot;There is no evidence. If there was, he would tell you about it. I’m telling you right now they’re lying, … that what they will tell you cannot be true.&uot;

Hall said the prosecution plans to also enter into evidence records of calls made to and from a cellular telephone Blank had in her possession the morning of her death. Blank was allegedly calling a man at the house to purchase drugs, prosecuting attorneys said in court.

In a February article, Maj. John Manley of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said Minor apparently thought Blank was working as a narcotics snitch.

Deputy James Pace, the first deputy on the scene when Blank’s body was found, testified that he saw gunshot wounds to Blank’s forehead and temple and collected fingerprints and hair samples from Blank’s car. But he said he did not know whether the samples were from Minor.

He also said he did not take fingerprints from two shell casings found on the passenger’s side of Blank’s vehicle because he feared doing so would destroy evidence.

Selecting a jury in the case – five white males, three white females, two black males and two black females – took about two and a half hours of Monday morning. That afternoon, the jury heard three and a half hours of testimony.

Testimony will resume at 9:30 a.m. today before Judge Forrest Johnson.

The trial could end later today, Johnson told jurors Monday.