A man charged with using an axe to hack a mother and her daughter to death finally had his trial start in Winchester on Tuesday morning. Robert Joe Whittenburg, 47, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of 46-year-old Deanna Lawrence and 24-year-old Dedra Lawrence in Pikeville, which is in Bledsoe County.
Police found the deceased women lying in a pool of blood on Nov. 30 2017. Whittenburg was indicted in 2018.
Whittenburg had been living at the residence with the women. He was found non-responsive at the grisly murder scene.
Whittenburg is represented by attorney Sam Hudson, while David Shinn is the prosecutor. Both attorneys spent several hours questioning a large pool of potential jurors in front of Judge Thomas Graham. Starting at around 9:30, the two attorneys whittled down the pool of 30-something potential jurors to the official 13.
These jurors will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last around three days.
The case was moved to Franklin County after a change of venue motion was filed.