Jury pool warned of grim details in Huntsville double-murder case

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Jury selection resumed Wednesday morning in the capital murder trial of Stephen Marc Stone, who could face the death penalty if convicted of killing his wife and son in South Huntsville in February 2013.

The selection process will continue Wednesday afternoon and a jury is expected to be selected Thursday morning, setting the stage for opening statements from both sides.

Stone’s attorneys are arguing he is not guilty by reason of insanity — that he didn’t appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of his actions when he killed his wife Krista and 7-year-old son, Zachary, at the family’s home.

The prosecution is arguing Stone, who provided a confession to police, knew what he was doing, and deserves the death penalty for his crimes.

The jury panel of 90 people were advised today that the crime scene photos, which include the body of the child, could be disturbing. Stone is accused of fatally strangling his wife and strangling and drowning his son.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard asked if any members of the jury pool thought those images could affect their ability to effectively serve on the jury. More than a dozen would-be jurors raised their hands.

Madison County Circuit Judge Donna Pate advised those would-be jurors could describe their reasoning in private questioning with attorneys for both sides.

Broussard also described for jurors times over the years he’d discussed various cases he was working on with his mother. He said she’d invariably reply, ‘I’d hate to be a juror.’

He then said his wife had served on a capital murder case, one he didn’t prosecute, and wasn’t upset by the experience.

Broussard asked the panel if they thought they were more like his mother, reluctant to deal with the grim facts of the case.

About a dozen people raised their hands in response. They were also scheduled to be questioned in private continuing their possible service on the jury.

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