Local News

Jury selection begins in Carthage nursing home shooting

Posted July 11, 2011 5:09 p.m. EDT
Updated July 11, 2011 5:38 p.m. EDT

— Jury selection for the trial of a man accused in a fatal shooting rampage inside a Carthage nursing home more than two years ago could take a month, Superior Court Judge James Webb said Monday.

A group of 190 potential jurors from Stanly County appeared at the courthouse in Albemarle on Monday. A total of 750 citizens in the county have received summons for jury selection in the case.

Webb ruled that potential jurors would come from Stanly and not Moore County because of the extensive coverage the shootings received.

The trial, which will be held in Moore County, is expected to last four to six weeks, Webb said. Jurors will be bused to Moore County each day for the trial.

Authorities say Robert Kenneth Stewart shot and killed eight people and wounded three others, including a police officer, at Pinelake Health and Rehab on March 29, 2009. Stewart's estranged wife, Wanda Stewart, worked at the facility as a nursing assistant. She told WRAL News that she thinks he was gunning for her because she had left him weeks before the shooting.

A Carthage police officer, Justin Garner, ended the rampage when he shot Stewart in the chest.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.