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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Jury selection today for man accused of stabbing deaths

  • Phase one of the trial for a man accused of stabbing the mother of his child and her friend to death begins this morning at 9 a.m. in St. Charles County Court. Councilors will spend most of the day looking for the right group of 12 men and women to serve as the jury in the double murder trial of M...
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  • Phase one of the trial for a man accused of stabbing the mother of his child and her friend to death begins this morning at 9 a.m. in St. Charles County Court.
    Councilors will spend most of the day looking for the right group of 12 men and women to serve as the jury in the double murder trial of Manuel Cazares. He is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Feb. 28, 2009 deaths of 27-year-old Amanda Thomas and 25-year-old Patrick Epley at Thomas’ Hannibal apartment.
    Thomas had a total of three protection orders put on Cazares after their relationship - that conceived a son - ended. The first two orders weren’t exercised and by the time a hearing for the third protection order had been scheduled, Thomas had been killed.
    But that information won’t be presented to the jury at trial. Recently the court ruled that the protection orders and Cazares’ status as an illegal Mexican immigrant of the United States cannot be used, however, if Cazares takes the stand, documents providing the information are allowed.
    Prosecuting attorney Kevin Zoellner could call as many as 15 witnesses. He also expects Cazares’ public defender Todd Schulze to argue that the trial is not a case of murder, but involuntary manslaughter.
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