Jury Selection Underway in Ed Thomas Murder Case

By Trish Mehaffey

Mark Becker waits for his hearing to begin Friday Jan. 29, 2010 at the Cerro Gordo County Law Enforcement Complex in Mason City, Iowa. Becker, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his former coach Ed Thomas last June in the Aplington-Parkersburg High School weight room. (Jeff Heinz/The Globe Gazette)

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By Becky Ogann

SHELL ROCK - The 220 people called for jury panel just made it through the doors at the Boyd Building auditorium for jury selection in the first-degree murder trial of Mark Becker.

Jury selection was set to start 1:30 p.m. but there was a line of people about three blocks long waiting in the bitter cold temperatures to get inside. Most seemed to take it in stride, only a few negative comments about the wind.

Butler County Sheriff's deputies were checking bags at the doors and scanning everyone before they could enter the auditorium.

The judge just came in and the attorneys will start their questioning in a few minutes.

Becker, 24, charged with first-degree murder, is accused of shooting and killing Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas on June 24 in the high school weight room in front of 20 students.The trial will be in Allison at the Butler County Courthouse.

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