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Jury Selection Has Begun in Lee County Trial

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Donald Abercrombie in courtWRAL Photographer Rick Allen
SANFORD — Lee County prosecutors are asking for thedeath penalty in an unusual case. Jury selection began Tuesday in thedouble murder trial of Donald Abercrombie. The bodies of his allegedvictims have never been found.

Prosecutors are saying little about their case, but court papersindicate that Abercrombie has confessed to the 1995 murders of two seniorcitizens. Prosecutors are also expected to produce some DNA evidencethat was mentioned during jury selection.

Prospective jurors are being asked if theycouldconvictsomeone ofmurder without a body.

Abercrombie is charged with one count of robbery and two counts offirst degree murder. At the time of the killings, investigators founda trail of blood inside the home of 79-year-old Hoyle Smith, one of thealleged victims.

Abercrombie is currently serving a 25-to-30 month sentence in connection with aFayetteville standoff in which he held police at bay for 17 hours. Thatincident occurred five days after police think Smith and 66-year-oldHelen Boone were killed.

Three jurors were seated Tuesday. Officials think it will take severalmore days to complete jury selection. Opening arguments are scheduled tobegin next Tuesday if the jury is in place by then.

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