Jury selection gets under way in capital murder, child abuse trial

Published 11:55 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Sixty-seven potential jurors packed the Circuit Courtroom Thursday morning in the Adams County Courthouse, waiting to see if they would pass judgment on James Christopher Anderson’s capital murder and felony child abuse trial.

Anderson is accused of killing Armani Hill, 4, and abusing her 3-year-old sister on June 5, 2019.

The defendant was in the courtroom during jury selection, looking far different than the photo of him released by law enforcement at the time of his arrest on June 7, 2019.

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His dreadlocks are gone and his hair is cut short. A tall and thin man, he wore a gray shirt and cream-colored pants to the proceedings.

Anderson was 24 at the time of the alleged crime. Today he is 27. Anderson has been held in the Adams County Jail since his arrest in 2019 on $100,000 bond.

Sixth District District Attorney Shameka Collins and Assistant District Attorney Paul Sullivan represent the State of Mississippi as the prosecution.

Court-appointed attorneys Jeffrey Harness and Timothy Blalock are representing Anderson.

By 11:25 a.m., the first break provided in jury selection that began at 9:30 a.m., the jury pool had been whittled down to about 35. Most were dismissed when asked if they had read pre-trial publicity that colored their ability to make an objective decision in the case.