Jury selection resumes in Cope trial - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Jury selection resumes in Cope trial with original judge

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Prunty, seen here in a file image, was a 19-year veteran of Shreveport Police Department. Prunty, seen here in a file image, was a 19-year veteran of Shreveport Police Department.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Jury selection resumed Thursday morning in the trial of a man accused of shooting and killing a Shreveport police officer, with the original judge in the case returning to preside over the trial.

Christopher Cope is charged with first degree murder in the death of Shreveport Police Sgt. Prunty in October 2010. Prunty, a 19-year veteran of the force, was standing outside a Circle K in South Shreveport when he was shot several times. Cope is also charged with attempted first degree murder for firing into a guard shack. The guard on duty was not hurt.

Jury selection in the capital murder trial was halted Monday after Cope's defense attorney Dwight Doskey challenged whether Judge Scott Crichton should preside over the trial after he replaced another judge who had been hearing the case for the past two years.

Judge Mike Pitman had asked to be replaced, and Judge Crichton had been appointed to take his place. When jury selection began Monday, the defense objected to the new judge.

Judge John Mosely denied their motion to set aside the change in judges, and the defense appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. Now, the Second Circuit Court of Appeal has overturned that ruling and reinstated Pitman as the trial judge. 

Caddo Parish ADA Brady O'Callaghan and First Assistant Dale Cox are prosecuting. Jury selection is expected to take about a week.

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SIDEBAR: Cope trial continuing coverage

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Continuing coverage in the criminal trial of Christopher Cope, charged with 1st degree murder in the shooting death of Shreveport Police Sgt. Timothy Prunty, a 19-year-veteran of the force. More>>

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