Capital murder trial for Bellmead man accused of killing in-laws during cookout postponed after juror falls ill

The jury for the capital murder trial of 39-year-old Johnny Alvin Wilson was selected Monday,...
The jury for the capital murder trial of 39-year-old Johnny Alvin Wilson was selected Monday, Oct. 10, in Waco’s 54th State District Court.(KWTX)
Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The capital murder trial of a Bellmead man who police say shot and killed his mother-in-law and father-in-law during a family cookout in May 2020 was postponed for two weeks Tuesday after a juror got sick.

Judge Susan Kelly of Waco’s 54th State District Court consulted with prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case before postponing the trial until Oct. 24 after a juror with COVID-like symptoms told court officials Tuesday that she was ill.

Testimony in Johnny Alvin Wilson’s trial was set to begin Tuesday after a panel of 12 jurors and one alternate was selected Monday. The trial will proceed in two weeks with the same jury.

Wilson, 39, who was convicted of murder in 2003 in Union County, Arkansas, is charged in the shooting deaths of Rachel Strickland, 40, and Christopher Wilson, 42, outside a home in the 4700 block of Florida Street.

Bellmead police officials said there were a number of family members gathered at the home for a cookout when a “confrontation” broke out.

As Kelly addressed the jury about the postponement, most on the panel did not seem surprised, with a few telling the judge it was obvious the woman was not feeling well Monday during jury selection.

“I urge you to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourselves,” the judge told jurors. “Go get tested, isolate, whatever you need to do. I want to do right by you. We all very much appreciate your service and I want you to be healthy. I’m glad we have the alternate.”

The state is not seeking the death penalty, so Wilson is facing an automatic life term without parole if convicted of capital murder.

According to records filed in the case, the victims’ 16-year-old daughter told police she was in the pool when Wilson came out of the house with a gun and shot her father and then her mother. The girl ran from the yard after he pointed the gun at her and told police she was injured jumping a fence. She ran to a neighbor’s house, according to an arrest affidavit.

Johnny Wilson’s wife and infant son were in the home when Bellmead police and officers from other agencies arrived, Bellmead police said.

Wilson remains jailed under bonds totaling $2.3 million. Court records show he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with five of those years being suspended, after his murder conviction in Arkansas.

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PREVIOUS ARTICLE: The trial of a Bellmead man who police say shot and killed his mother-in-law and father-in-law during a family cookout in May 2020 was postponed until Oct. 24, 2022 after a juror fell ill.

The jury for the capital murder trial of 39-year-old Johnny Alvin Wilson was selected Monday, Oct. 10, in Waco’s 54th State District Court.

Wilson, who was convicted of murder in 2003 in Union County, Arkansas, is charged in the shooting deaths of Rachel Strickland, 40, and Christopher Wilson, 42, outside a home in the 4700 block of Florida Street.

Bellmead police officials said there were a number of family members gathered at the home for a cookout when a “confrontation” broke out.

Prosecutors Staci Johnson and Donald McCarthy and defense attorneys John Donahue and Jon Evans are expected to spend most of Monday in jury selection, with testimony set to start Tuesday morning. The state is not seeking the death penalty, so Wilson is facing an automatic life term without parole if convicted of capital murder.

According to records filed in the case, the victims’ 16-year-old daughter told police she was in the pool when Wilson came out of the house with a gun and shot her father and then her mother. The girl ran from the yard after he pointed the gun at her and told police she was injured jumping a fence. She ran to a neighbor’s house, according to an arrest affidavit.

Johnny Wilson’s wife and infant son were in the home when Bellmead police and officers from other agencies arrived, Bellmead police said.

Wilson remains jailed under bonds totaling $2.3 million and has been in the county jail 852 days waiting for trial. Court records show he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with five of those years being suspended, after his murder conviction in Arkansas.

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