After an unsuccessful attempt to select a new jury in Kenai Tuesday, the murder trial of Billy J. Smith was moved to Anchorage.
Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link ordered the move after 30 of 42 jury candidates said they had been biased by news accounts of the trial. The defense objected to nine of the remaining 12 because those people said they had heard of the case, though they had not formed opinions about it.
Jury selection in the new trial is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Anchorage Superior Court, 825 Fourth Ave. Judge Link will preside over the trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks.
Smith is on trial for the 1994 murders of Harold Enzler, 36, of Nikiski, and Nancy Bellamy, 42, of Homer. Their bodies were never found.
Smith also is charged with three counts of tampering with physical evidence, namely the bodies, which were allegedly dismembered and dumped in Cook Inlet, and the truck in which the two were shot. The truck was reportedly dismantled and dumped in various locations around the Kenai Peninsula.
The trial had been under way for about two weeks in Kenai when a mistrial was declared Friday because a witness mentioned having taken a lie-detector test.
The defense attorney protested that the admission would lead the jury to believe the entire testimony of the witness. The planned defense had been to undermine that testimony, according to the attorney.
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