Trial begins for Jones County man charged with capital murder

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - After two days in Greene County a jury was selected and Blakeney's trial began Wednesday in Jones County.

After opening statements and after the first witness, court recessed for 15 minutes. During that time, the jury asked a question, which both parties felt was odd since it was so early in the case. After viewing the written note, the defense asked Judge Billy Joe Landrum to declare a mistrial. Judge Landrum  denied.

Before lunch, a Jones County training director was called to the stand. Photos of the hallway where Blakeney states 2-year-old Victoria Viner fell were presented. The jury also saw and felt a piece of the carpet from the hallway. After that, jurors listened to 911 calls made by Blakeney and the child's mother Lidia Viner. The court then recessed for lunch.

After 1 p.m., before starting back up, the judge was notified about one of the juror's husband being rushed to the hospital. The juror decided to stay and continue with trial.

Four additional witnesses were called to the stand in a three-hour span; a medical first responder, a doctor, a forensic pathologist and chief investigator.

In that time, jurors were shown four gruesome photos of the child's autopsy and also watched an interview with Blackeney which was conducted by the Jones County Sheriff's Department back in 2010.

After the interview, a juror was excused from the trial after being notified her husband was in critical care. Court recessed for the day. Blakeney's trial will continue Thursday at 9 a.m.

Blakeney is being charged with capital murder for allegedly killing his girlfriend's daughter. According to Blakeney, the 2-year-old was walking down the hallway, collapsed and hit her head. An autopsy showed the cause of death as blunt force trauma.

In February, Judge Landrum declared a mistrial in Blakeney's case after two days of jury selection since there weren't enough jurors to fill the seats.

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