Local News

Jury Selection Underway in Trial of Nathaniel Fair

Posted April 4, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Jury selection is underway in the murder trial of Nathaniel Fair, Jr. Fair is charged with robbing, killing and assuming the identity of Reubin McNeill, a popular Wake County educator.

Fair stands accused of stabbing McNeill and leaving him off a dirt road near Meredith College last August. Police believe Fair then drove around in McNeill's Ford Explorer and used his credit cards.

Fair has insisted all along that he is innocent of the murder.

The big debate between the prosecution and defense Monday was over trying Fair on both the murder and robbery charges together. Fair's attorneys argue he could have acquired the credit cards without committing the murder.

The prosecution got its way after promising a lot more details will be forthcoming and has vowed to seek the death penalty if a jury convicts Fair of first-degree murder.

By mid-afternoon, jury selection got underway, but the process is expected to take as long as two weeks.

Ten potential jurors were dismissed; three others were asked to return Tuesday for more questioning. There are still more than two dozen potential jurors to go.

The trial itself could last six weeks and is expected to uncover many of the bizarre aspects of the investigation, including how the victim and suspect knew each other.