Jury selection begins in Miss. teen’s murder trial

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jury selection began Monday in the retrial of Tyler Edmonds, who was 13 when first accused of participating in the murder of his brother-in-law.

Edmonds, now 18, won a new trial in 2007. He is being tried again for his alleged role in the shooting death of Joey Fulgham.

Edmonds’ sister, Kristi Fulgham, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the slaying of her estranged husband. Authorities said he was shot in the head in 2003 as he slept in his home near Starkville.

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Prosecutors believe robbery was the motive and that Kristi Fulgham wanted her husband dead after she left him for another man. They say she enlisted the help of her younger brother.

Jury selection is being done in Kosciusko and the trial will take place in Starkville.

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Edmonds’ capital murder conviction and life sentence last year and ordered a new trial, citing discrepancies in testimony.

Edmonds also claims he was coerced into confessing to the 2003 slaying. According to court records, Edmonds’ confession came after the Oktibbeha County sheriff barred Edmonds’ mother, Sharon Clay, from the room while her son was questioned.

Also, the sheriff brought Kristi Fulgham, who is Edmonds’ sister and Joey Fulgham’s wife, into the room to help persuade Edmonds to admit to participating in the murder. Edmonds has claimed his sister tricked him into confessing.

In overturning Edmonds’ capital murder conviction, presiding Justice Bill Waller Jr. wrote that the only evidence that the youth was involved in the murder was Kristi Fulgham’s allegations and the disputed confession. However, the Mississippi justices did not rule on the confession.

Edmonds was freed from jail in May on a $75,000 bond after his conviction was overturned.