SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A panel of seven Air Force officers, two women and five men, make up the jury hearing the murder case against Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards.
Edwards, 20, is accused of stabbing his roommate, Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale to death inside their quarters while on deployment last March at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Both Hale and Edwards were assigned to the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as Electronic Warfare Journeymen.
Jury selection began Tuesday morning in the murder trial for the March 2018 death of Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale. Trial proceedings are being held at the Federal Courthouse in Shreveport.
Edwards is currently in custody at Barksdale Air Force Base and being transported by Barksdale Security Forces to and from court.
Opening statements began at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning with prosecutors presenting a nearly five minute long video of the crime scene. A1C Hale’s family visibly upset, when the video showed him lying on the floor of his room in a pool of blood.
Prosecutors told the jury evidence of will show Edwards stabbed Hale multiple times in his neck, back and chest. They say testimony shows Edwards, trained in martial arts and known to carry a pocket knife, was overheard stating he “could kill another person” and “could even kill Hale” in a conversation days before the murder.
Attorneys also state evidence will show Edwards attempted to wash blood off his hands before going to get help.
Edwards attorneys do not dispute the fact he killed Hale, however they argue Edwards was acting in self-defense. His attorneys question some of the accounts recalled from witnesses. They also told jury members Edwards plans to take the stand and testify as to what happened the night Hale died.
Throughout the morning, jury members saw graphic photos from the crime scene and heard accounts from Security Forces personnel and paramedics who responded to the scene. The two airmen who shared a bathroom with Hale and Edwards also described what happened.
Prosecutors called their first witness to the stand around 9:05 a.m.
One of the airmen told jury members he woke to “painful screams, heard a thud and someone yell ‘why.” He testified that when he went to see what was going on he saw Edwards on top of Hale grabbing at his hands as Hale was trying to cover his neck and moving his body. The airman said he saw blood coming from Hale’s neck and woke his roommate and the two ran for help.
Before lunch, the jury also heard testimony from an Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent and a Field Martial Arts Expert, who discussed wounds found on both Hale and Edwards, focusing on their hands and Edwards’ knees.
On Monday, A1C Edwards pleaded not guilty in court. The rest of the day was spent working out pre-trial motions and reviewing evidence that would possibly be used during trial. That evidence included witness testimony and photos from the crime scene.
Both Hale and Edwards have had family members present since court proceedings began on Monday.
If the jury reaches a conviction, the trial would immediately move in to the sentencing phase.