LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Jury selection stalled Tuesday in a murder case after the judge barred the defendant's family from the courthouse.
Jury selection last nearly all day in the murder trial against Jaelynn Billups, was in the courthouse all day today as attorneys questioned potential jurors.
During the morning break, her family is accused of recording jurors and prosecutors on their phones, according to an order issued by Judge Thomas Busch.
In the order, Busch says one of her family members also made racial comments and potentially threatening comments to a deputy prosecutor.
Busch found family members were attempting to intimidate jurors and prosecutors. They were removed from the courthouse and their phones were seized for examination.
Eighteen-year-old Billups is accused of killing 37-year-old Joshua Ungersma last year. Prosecutors say she and her boyfriend ordered a pizza from Domino's with plans to rob the driver.
Witnesses say Ungersma shot and killed Billups' boyfriend, 19-year-old Alberto Vanmeter, during the alleged botched robbery.
As News 18 previously reported, her defense attorneys plan to argue the shooting was in self defense.
The prosecution began presenting evidence late Tuesday afternoon after a jury was selected. The trial is expected to last several days.