LAFAYETTE, Ala. (WRBL) – Seven years after being accused in the alleged capital murder of his uncle in Chambers County, a Lafayette man will finally have his day in court as jury selection in his trial began Monday morning.  

According to the police, in March 2016 Casey Smith, 38, shot and killed his uncle, 52-year-old John Smith, in the alleged victim’s residence on Alabama Avenue West. Investigators said after the murder, Casey Smith and his girlfriend, Amber Hancock, stole the victim’s car. Hancock is also charged with capital murder.

Auburn police later located the vehicle in their jurisdiction, along with Smith and Hancock, which led to the couple’s arrest and subsequent murder charges.

Mike Segrest, the district attorney for Chambers County, declined to comment on the ongoing trial but expressed dedication to addressing a backlog of cases.

“Seven years is too long and not fair for the victim’s family and the defendants,” Segrest said. “To expedite proceedings, unused terms on civil dockets are being used to try criminal cases, a practice unprecedented in the area.”

The tragedy has left the victim’s family, particularly the victim’s brother and defendant’s father, Scotty Smith, devastated. Scotty reported being on the phone with his brother shortly before the alleged shooting and hearing John ask, “What the hell are you doing in my house?” before the call abruptly disconnected.

Scotty immediately called 911, and when police arrived at the scene about an hour later, they found John dead.

Scotty has said at the time of the deadly shooting that his son Casey was 30 years old and struggling with drug addiction.

The family remembers John as a warm-hearted individual who never met a stranger. He was a father of three, doted on his grandkids and was known for his generosity. John was an active member of the Sandy Creek United Church of Christ and often donated his long hair to Locks of Love.