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Today Marks Bench Trial For Martinsville Shooter

Last updated on Monday, July 11, 2011

(MARTINSVILLE, IN) - Today marks day one in the bench trial of a 16-year-old Martinsville boy charged with attempted murder in the double shooting of a young rival.

Michael Phelps faces six charges in the March 25th shooting of Chance Jackson.

The case is being heard by Morgan County judge G. Thomas Gray in Martinsville.

This after the court had trouble seating a jury in Clay County. Many potential jurors revealed they had already heard something about the case.

Phelps' Attorney Steven Litz requested a bench trial waiver granted by the judge.

The trial is expected to last five days and begins Monday morning at 9:00AM. In jury trials, juries determine guilt or innocence.

In bench trials, judges make the determination in addition to sentencing.

Former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says he cannot predict the outcome of this trial, but says bench trials generally benefit the prosecution.

Brizzi says jury trials tend to benefit the defense in cases where the defense is hoping to win compassion in favor of the client on trial.

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