On Monday, jury selection began in the trial of Clayton Antwain Shanklin, 26, of Parrish, who is charged with first-degree capital murder during a robbery, first-degree capital murder during a burglary and attempted murder.
Walker County Circuit Judge Doug Farris, who will hear the case, said he expects jury selection to continue today. “Our goal is to get started Wednesday morning,” Farris said.
Shanklin allegedly killed Michael Crumpton, 21, and attempted to kill his wife, Ashley Crumpton, on Oct. 12, 2009. He has been held in Walker County Jail since his Oct. 16, 2009, arrest.
Farris said the bulk of the questionnaire being given to potential jurors is designed to gauge their attitudes regarding capital punishment.
“The death penalty is at stake,” said Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair. “We’ll hopefully get the case under way as far as opening statements and presenting witnesses later in the week.”
One witness expected to be called on to testify during the trial is Ashley Crumpton, who survived the attack despite being shot.
“The spouse, Mrs. Crumpton, will testify,” Farris said.
Shanklin’s trial was originally scheduled for August. However, it was postponed because of issues regarding evidence, according to Farris.
Shanklin’s co-defendant, Kevin Shanklin, 23, who faces the same charges, is expected to be tried in February, according to Farris. Kevin Shanklin is also expected to face the death penalty if convicted.
Cordova Police Chief Kenneth Bobo, who investigated the murder along with the Walker County Sheriff’s Department, said he is pleased to see the case moving forward.
Clayton Antwain Shanklin reportedly shot Michael Crumpton several times with a hand gun at the Crumptons’ home on Warrior River Lane in Cordova. The couple’s two young children were reportedly asleep in another room of the Crumptons’ home when the murder took place.
Kevin Shanklin and another suspect, Tracy Lynn Ward, were arrested on Oct. 14, 2009. Ward was reportedly charged with murder, felony murder, attempted robbery and attempted murder.
Clayton Antwain Shanklin was arrested Oct. 16, 2009, at the Royal Inn motel in Albertville by Albertville and Boaz police.