Trial begins in Jennings County


JENNINGS COUNTY — Jury selection began Monday morning in the murder trial of Seymour resident Jovonnie Antonio Mayes, who is accused in the death of a Dupont man.

Jennings Circuit Court sent out summonses to 150 jurors who were called for jury selection.

Mayes, 23, is accused in the murder of 52-year-old Richard Smith, who was found by police in a trash container outside the former Hatton’s Carpet and Flooring building near Fifth Street and Amvet Drive in North Vernon on Oct.17, 2014.

Jennings County prosecutors allege Mayes and a companion, Jody M. Brooks, 24, North Vernon, beat Smith to death in a robbery, went through his wallet and took some of his clothing and then stole two vehicles in an attempt to escape.

Brooks was convicted in Jennings Circuit Court of murder and auto theft in January and was sentenced to 62 years in prison, court records show.

Mayes is being tried on charges of murder, felony robbery and two counts of felony auto theft, according to court records.

Five days have been designated by Jennings Circuit Court for the jury trial.

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