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Murder trial begins for man accused of killing Pine Bluff detective in 2020



Little Rock, Arkansas – Today marked the start of the Jefferson County man’s trial for the alleged 2020 murder of a Pine Bluff detective.

After being charged with shooting and killing detective Kevin Collins at the Econo Lodge on North Blake Street in Pine Bluff three years prior, Keshone Smith is currently on trial for capital murder.

Smith was detained without bail after the October 5th incident until the start of the trial.
The trial moved forward with jury selections today following several postponements, the most recent one occurring in January of this year.

Judge Jodi Dennis, who is presiding over the trial, interviewed over fifty prospective jurors before relieving some of them of their obligation to participate in the trial.

Defense attorney Lee Short and prosecuting attorney Cal Hunter divided up the remaining people and questioned them.

Their objective was to select a jury of twelve people who could fairly try this criminal case before moving on to the opening statements.

Among the questions were whether anyone knew the deceased or the defendant personally if anyone had previously participated in a trial, and if anyone had any personal experiences that might prevent them from rendering a fair decision.

The defense stated that although there may be moments during the trial that may be upsetting for many, it shouldn’t take away from the facts presented during the case process. The prosecution stated that the jury would not be deliberating on the death penalty in this case.

This week, witnesses, law enforcement, medical professionals, and other specialists are anticipated to testify.

To determine a verdict, the jury’s decision on guilt or not guilty must be unanimous.
Keshone Smith’s and Kevin Collins’ families were there today on different sides of the courtroom.

Detective Collins’ mother talked about her feelings on the trial’s commencement, following the disappointment of it being rescheduled earlier this year.

“I am ecstatic that that date has finally arrived. It has been continued three times while we have been here. In other words, if it makes any sense to anyone, we are excited. I refuse to miss a second of it. Mother Dornetta Hobbs answered, “I’ll be here.

According to Hobbs, more members of the community, church, and family should show up throughout the week to provide their support.

Smith’s family is anticipated to stay present as well.

The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning at the Jefferson County Courthouse. The jury selection process went on until after hours.



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