Wayne County, West Virginia murder trial underway

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The trial is now underway for a man accused of stabbing his former high school football coach to death.

Clinton Skeens is charged in the murder of Jess "Scott" Jarrell.
Jarrell was stabbed 43 times at his home in Wayne County, West Virginia on Dec. 31, 2010.

Jury selection started last month for the trial to ensure it would start by Monday.

There was only one opening statement, and that came from the prosecution. The defense deferred its expected mental incompetency case involving Clinton Doug Skeens.

A motive for the killing hasn't been released, if a motive has been determined.

Jarrell was a beloved former coach, and his family had to bear down on the witness stand.

Scott Jarrell Jr. testified that as he was checking on his dad, who was not answering the phone that New Year's Eve day, he received a call from a state trooper, saying a Clinton Skeens had his father's missing truck.

Then, a son found his dad's body.

"I said, 'Oh, my God,' " Scott Jarrell Jr. testified. "I looked through the sliding glass doors and I could see dad lying on the floor, between the dryer and the table. He looked like he had passed, but I had to check. So I checked for a pulse, and he was gone."

In his opening statement, Wayne County Prosecutor Tom Plymale told the jury the evidence would show that the 53-year-old former Wayne High football player stalked, planned out, and then murdered his former coach.

"It was a culmination of events that ended with this man pursuing, finding and then killing Scott Jarrell," Plymale said.

A string of witnesses testified that weeks before the murder, Skeens asked around town where Jarrell lived.

The jury saw surveillance video from a Kroger store in Huntington, showing Skeens buying two knives -- one that prosecutors say was the murder weapon.

Plymale says DNA evidence showed Skeens had chili and ice cream at Coach Jarrell's before leaving. He bought a lottery ticket right after the murder -- all before confessing to state police.

The jury saw Wal-Mart surveillance video showing Skeens buying 16-gauge shotgun shells right after the murder. Jarrell's family says the only gun missing was a 16-gauge shotgun.

We're told Skeens will take the stand in his own defense.


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