SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The trial has begun for a northern Indiana man accused of beating an Afghanistan war veteran to death.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of 23-year-old Jabreeh Davis-Martin, The South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/2rrn3Fu ) reported. He is charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old Jodie Henderson, a member of the Army National Guard.
Authorities said Davis-Martin attacked the veteran after being told by a third party that Henderson said he loved Davis-Martin romantically.
Henderson was found in January 2016 lying in the street near a home that Davis-Martin shared with his mother. The county coroner found that he died primarily of blunt-force injuries. Investigators believe Davis-Martin struck Henderson with a bar stool.
Four people have spoken to investigators as confidential witnesses because they feared retaliation.
Witnesses have told police that Davis-Martin bragged about the incident afterward and used an anti-gay slur when referring to Henderson. One witness overheard Davis-Martin telling his mother to clean the blood off the porch, according to court documents. Another witness told police that Davis-Martin said he killed Henderson because the man made a gay move on him.
Police also have video footage taken during a party inside the Davis-Martin’s home. Henderson can be heard talking about being in love with Davis-Martin, prompting Davis-Martin’s mother to warn Henderson not to mess with her son like that, according to court documents.
Davis-Martin wasn’t charged with a hate crime because Indiana doesn’t have a hate crime law.
The trial is expected to last all week.
Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com