GOSSETT TRIAL Opening statements to begin
Attorneys for both sides said the trial will last about 2 weeks.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Opening statements were to begin today in the aggravated murder trial of Dennis B. Gossett, who is accused of taking part in the killing of two men.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were to give the statements in Gossett's trial shortly after jurors return from viewing the Newton Falls crime scene.
Jury selection began Monday in the courtroom of Judge John Stuard of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Prosecutors will begin presenting witnesses after opening statements.
Attorneys for both sides said the trial will last about two weeks.
Gossett, 35, of Colt Street, faces two charges of aggravated murder, a charge of attempted murder, two charges of kidnapping and a charge each of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
If convicted, he faces up to 53 years to life in prison.
Indicted: Gossett, Eric Porterfield, 28, also of Colt Street, and Ronald Shaffer, 20, of Newton Falls, were indicted in the June 23 shooting deaths of Garry D. Bell, 40, of 3066 state Route 5, Leavittsburg, and Charles Mathey III, 40, of Milton Boulevard, Newton Falls.
Shaffer and Porterfield also were indicted on attempted murder charges.
Police said the two shot David Harper, 38, of Prospect Street, Newton Township, in the same crime. Harper, who was shot three times, survived.
Shaffer has been convicted of all the charges and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Porterfield pleaded guilty to the charges April 2 but then withdrew his guilty pleas May 4. His trial is now set for October.
Police said Gossett drove Shaffer and Porterfield to Harper's home in June so they could rob Harper of money and drugs. Police declined to say if any drugs were found in Harper's home.