Jury selection begins in trial of man accused of killing SPD Officer Thomas LaValley

Hundreds of potential jurors lined up outside the courthouse in Baton Rouge as they waited to be interviewed

Grover Cannon jury selection

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Jury selection in the trial of a man suspected of killing a Shreveport police officer in 2015 began today in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Hundreds of potential jurors lined up outside a courthouse in Baton Rouge this morning as they waited to be interviewed.

The jury pool is 400 to 500 people.

Grover Cannon is accused of killing Thomas LaValley after the officer responded to a suspicious person call in Shreveport.

Jury selection underway for trial of SPD Officer Thomas LaValley's accused killer

Cannon’s defense attorney requested a change of venue after the shooting death of Shreveport police officer Chatéri Payne. The defense contended that Payne’s death could likely inflame public opinion about this case.

The judge agreed.

Once jurors are selected, they will be brought back to Caddo Parish for the rest of the trial.

LaValley was responding to a call in the Queensborough neighborhood when he was shot multiple times in the upper body and later pronounced dead at a hospital.

At that time, Cannon already was wanted for attempted second-degree murder for allegedly trying to kill someone else in July 2015.

In October 2015, a Caddo Parish grand jury indicted Cannon on the charge of first-degree murder in connection with LaValley’s death.

Jury selection for Grover Cannon begins

Cannon originally was set to go on trial in February 2017. The start of proceedings then was delayed until summer 2017, then rescheduled for April 2018 and then July 2018.

A backup trial date was set for August 2018. Then, a trial date was set for October 2018.

The trial last was delayed at the request of LaValley’s family because the trial date conflicted with a long-scheduled family event and would have prevented a significant portion of out-of-town family members from attending.

Cannon faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

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