• Jury selection begins in double-murder trial of Titusville man accused in ambush attack

    By: Cierra Putman , WFTV Web Staff

    Updated:

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Jury selection is underway for the trial of  a Titusville man accused of dressing in camouflage and hiding in his bushes before he shot two neighbors.

    William Woodward, 49, is accused of killing Gary Lee Hembree and Roger Picior outside his home on Smith Drive on Labor Day in 2012, police said.

    Read: Trial set for accused two-time killer in Titusville

    Timothy Blake was shot multiple times and survived.

    Security camera video from Woodward’s home captured the shootings.

    The state's position is that there was no imminent threat to Woodward, but the defense has always contended that Woodward suffered months of provocation and believed he was defending his family from a mob of people making threats.

    "We have a lot of people in the neighborhood that were affected by the people harassing the Woodward's. They have a great deal of empathy for the Woodward's, and a great deal of support for Billy's actions," defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger said.

    Read: Death penalty back on the table for man accused of killing neighbors

    Jury selection could last through Wednesday.

    Woodward could face the death penalty if found guilty by the 12 jurors.

    The decision about the death penalty has to be unanimous after the Supreme Court ruled Florida's death penalty unconstitutional.

    Read: Gunfire heard in surveillance video of Brevard neighborhood fatal shootings

    The judge rejected the prosecutor's request not to instruct a jury on "justifiable force" because they argue Woodward did not act in self-defense, and prosecutors wanted to limit some testimony.

    If the trial should reach the penalty phase, prosecutors also have asked the judge to limit any reference to post-traumatic stress disorder, but the judge also denied that request.

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