MANATEE -- The long-delayed murder trial of Gregory Kennon has begun at the Manatee County courthouse.
Attorneys' questioning of prospective jurors finished about 5:18 p.m. The judge and attorneys were now selecting the panel that will decide Kennon's fate.
Kennon is accused of being one of up to three people who kicked down a door at the DeSoto Village apartments on July 12, 2009, and shot to death 19-year-old Crystal Johnson.
Johnson died at the scene. Her unborn child died later.
Kennon is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed burglary. If convicted of first-degree murder, Kennon would be sentenced to life in prison.
During the break-in, Johnson’s boyfriend, Lawrence Funsch, returned fire, wounding Kennon and his alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Everrick Houston.
Kennon’s blood was found on the sidewalk. Houston’s blood was also found nearby outside the apartment, according to investigators.
Murder charges against Houston were dropped in 2010 after a judge ruled the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies illegally took his DNA from his bloodied clothes at Manatee Memorial Hospital.
Johnson died early that morning, but doctors were able to deliver her baby. The infant girl died eight hours later at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.
Detectives never arrested a third suspect in the case. It’s possible only two gunmen were involved, but one witness told authorities there were three gunmen.