WARREN - A panel of 12 jurors and as many as three alternates are expected to be seated Thursday, and opening arguments are tentatively set for Friday in the capital murder case of Louis Mann, who faces the death penalty the murder of his parents two years ago.
It's the first of two capital cases scheduled in the next few months in Trumbull County and the first one since 2006.
If convicted, Mann, 33, of Warren, would face the possibilities of a life sentence without any chance of parole, parole after either 30 or 25 years, or the death penalty.
Mann's attorneys, Greg Meyers, Matt Pentz and David Rouzzo, have already told Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay and some of the potential jurors that they are not challenging Mann's guilt, but are concentrating on selecting a jury that would spare Mann the death penalty.
Assistant prosecutors Chris Becker and Gabe Wildman say they will allow a jury to decide if aggravated circumstances of the double murder outweigh any mitigating factors that the defense team can present during a second penalty phase of the case.
As of Friday, attorneys qualified 27 potential jurors toward a pool of 34 or 35, and have only excused nine. More questioning gets under way Monday.
Mann is accused of strangling his mother with a clothesline and shooting his father and beating him to death with a flashlight Sept. 30, 2011.
According to a coroner's report, Philip J. Mann Sr., 59, died from blunt cranial trauma and multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The coroner also ruled that Philip Mann's wife, Frances M. Mann, 53, died of ligature strangulation.
Investigators found the couple's bodies in the living room of their Jefferson Street S.W. home, where they were letting Louis Mann stay, four days after he was released from jail on other charges.
Mann told authorities that killing his father first had followed 30 years of pent-up rage.
Police from Warren and Howland arrested Mann in a Capri Motel room in Howland with a woman he picked up the day before.
Meanwhile, the same prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Mann case are also in place to stage the capital murder trial of David Martin on Jan. 22.
Martin, 28, is accused of killing Jeremy Cole, 21, who was shot to death Sept. 27, 2012, while tied up in a home on Warren southwest side.
Cole was shot in the head and Melissa Putnam, 29, was shot in the hand. The bullet traveled through Putnam's hand and into her neck, but she recovered from her injuries.
Cole and Putnam were both tied up and placed in different rooms at 2220 Oak Circle S.W. during the apparent robbery. Martin allegedly made Putnam tie up Cole at gunpoint, then Martin tied up Putnam.
Martin also faces firearms specifications on both charges as well as counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and a repeat violent offender specification, having weapons while under disability, receiving stolen property because it is alleged he used a stolen gun, and tampering with evidence because he tried to burn his clothes.
A detective said Cole and Putnam knew Martin, but weren't aware of his name. Putnam reportedly told detectives Martin had been in the house before. Another detective said Martin has a prior criminal record and had served prison time out of Cuyahoga County for robbery and felonious assault.
Trumbull County's last capital case that went to a jury took place nearly seven years ago. Jermaine McKinney, 33, of Youngstown, was convicted on Nov. 3, 2006, of murder in the death of Wanda Rollyson, 70, and also murdering her daughter, Rebeca Vargo Cliburn, 43. He also was convicted of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated arson and the kidnapping of Cliburn. He was acquitted on a second kidnapping charge relating to Rollyson.
He was sentenced to two life terms without parole after the jury in that case decided against death as punishment.
The women were killed Dec. 21, 2005, inside Rollyson's Newton Bailey Road home in Newton Township. Both women were burned beyond recognition.