The felony murder trial of a Robins Air Force Base airman hit a speed bump in its first day Monday, forcing a delay in what is already expected to be a lengthy military proceeding.
Senior Airman Charles Amos Wilson III, 28, a support member of the 461st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is accused of agreeing to pay a friend to set fire to Wilson’s rented residence in Warner Robins on Oct. 2, 2011. His friend, Demetrius Hardy, 27, a civilian worker at Robins, died eight days later from injuries he sustained in the early morning blaze.
Wilson has pleaded not guilty to felony murder, arson and other related charges against him.
Monday, challenges by prosecution and defense attorneys exhausted the first military panel of potential jurors without seating a jury, and no second panel was available. The jury selection process is expected to resume Tuesday.
The military trial, the first of three courts-martial proceedings against Wilson, is being held at the Houston County Courthouse.
Col. Vance H. Spath, who is presiding, expressed frustration from the bench that another judge charged with selecting the next panel of potential jurors would not be available until late Monday afternoon. He noted the trial is now a day behind schedule.
If a jury is seated Tuesday, opening statements from attorneys are also expected.