Trial begins today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The trial of John Christopher Case, 29, 17 Beechwood Lane, is scheduled to begin today in Circuit Court District Six at the Adams County Courthouse.

Case is charged with murder in the March 31 death of Billy Dean Arnold Jr., 38, 34 Melanie Road.

Case allegedly beat Arnold to death in Case&8217;s driveway in the Montebello subdivision at 1:45 a.m. after the two returned from a bar.

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The trial is set to begin 9 a.m. today. District Attorney Ronnie Harper said he thought the case would likely take two days and that he anticipated calling 9 or 10 witnesses.

Accused of the first Natchez-Adams County homicide of 2006, Case was served an indictment Aug. 2.

Arnold sustained severe head injury and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, officials said at the time.

An autopsy performed on Arnold later showed he died of blunt trauma to the head, Adams County Coroner James Lee said at the time. He said he had no reason to believe Arnold&8217;s injuries were caused by anything other than fists.

Case called 911 to report the incident, officials said at the time.