Jury selected for Cabaret West double homicide trial

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The homicide trial for the second man accused of killing two people during a dispute at a Washington bar more than four years ago is expected to begin next week.


Gregory Avery, who was arrested last April and accused of shooting to death two men at the former Cabaret West bar on West Chestnut Street in 2009, is scheduled to go to trial Monday.


The jury of seven men and five women was selected yesterday afternoon before Washington County Judge Katherine Emery. Two men were chosen as alternates.


The charges against Avery, 24, of 555 Ewing St., Washington, include two counts of criminal homicide and one count of conspiracy to commit homicide.


Phillip Whitlock, who pleaded guilty to criminal homicide last April, pointed to Avery as the other gunman in the shooting. He is awaiting sentencing while cooperating with prosecutors in Avery’s trial.


Troy Saunders Jr., 23, of Canton Township, and Marquis Taylor, 24, of Washington, were shot to death and another person was seriously injured in the gunfire Feb. 16, 2009.


Washington police said an argument over a jukebox song ultimately led to the shootings. Whitlock apparently became agitated when Taylor started singing his own lyrics to a song using derogatory language. Whitlock called Avery, and the two discussed shooting Taylor, according to testimony during an earlier hearing.


Whitlock testified at Avery’s preliminary hearing last May that he asked for Saunders to be spared, but “(Avery) wasn’t listening.”


Whitlock claimed he did not shoot Saunders, who died of a single wound to the back from a .22-caliber handgun. Whitlock had been linked to a 9 mm handgun that was used to shoot Taylor and Lindsay Jolly, who survived. Taylor was shot eight times with bullets that came from both handguns, police said.


Avery has been held at the Washington County jail without bond since his arrest last April.


Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in the case.


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