DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The capital murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing a Stonewall boy nearly four years ago will begin Tuesday with jury selection in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Twice-convicted sex offender Brian Horn, 37, is accused in the asphyxiation death of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom. Police say Horn used text messages and posed as a girl to lure Bloxom from a friend's home on March 30, 2010.
The boy's body was found the following day in a watery ditch in the woods just off Highway 171 south of Stonewall.
The start of the trial comes after several delays and pre-trial motions. It was originally set to get under way in June in Lafayette. In mid-April, however, Horn's defense asked for more time to prepare. The judge agreed.
The most recent delay came in early February when Horn's defense team wanted more time to hire their own expert on the enhanced technology used to lift and analyze a fingerprints taken from the cab Horn was driving at the time of the murder.
Desoto Parish District Attorney Richard Johnson Jr. fought the continuance, "because we want the family to have closure in this case as soon as possible, however we understand the importance of getting it right."
Another request for a delay by Horn's defense team came at the end of February, when they asked for an additional month before the start of the trial because one of the attorneys on the defense team was expected to withdraw from the case. That request was denied.
A motion for that attorney, Daryl Gold, to withdraw was also denied. Gold is representing Horn on behalf of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Project. The non-profit provides indigent defense for defendants facing the death penalty in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
On Tuesday, the process of selecting jurors who will hear the evidence and testimony will begin in East Baton Rouge. That's 3 hours away from DeSoto Parish, where the trial itself will be held, thanks more than three years of pre-trial publicity.
"3 years, 11 months and 10 days," said Justin's mother, Amy Witham Fletcher on her Facebook page Monday. "Tomorrow starts our next chapter of this nightmare. Justice for Justin Bloxom is all I ask and pray for."
Opening arguments could get under way as early as next week.