Jury selection in the trial of two of three people charged with the murder of a Syracuse couple begins Thursday.
Brandon Woody, 24, and Kyle Dehart, 24, face two counts of murder in the shooting of Joshua Knisley and Tara Thornburg in February of 2015.
Woody is accused of putting a gun in the mouth of Thornburg and shooting her as well as shooting her boyfriend, Knisley.
Dehart, along with Woody and a third man, Thomas Hursey, is accused in the slayings that began when they intended to steal marijuana from Thornburg, prosecutors contend.
Woody and Dehart will be tried jointly.
Dehart faces an obstruction of justice charge in addition to the two murder charges.
Hursey faces murder charges but will be tried separately. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for Oct 10.
On Feb. 19, 2015, Syracuse Police Officer Joseph Denton responded to a scene, where Thornburg said her boyfriend had been shot and she had been knocked out, according to charging documents.
Denton reported Thornburg had a gunshot wound to her head but was able to speak before dying.
Denton asked Thornburg who had done this to her and she twice replied that it was Brandon Woody.
Denton did a sweep of the house and found Kinsley’s body.
Thornburg was taken to a hospital, where she later died,
Hursey told police they went to Thornburg’s residence to steal marijuana and brought black tape and a utility knife to cut her throat so she couldn’t scream, according to court documents.
Thornburg gave Woody a bag containing an ounce of marijuana and Woody said he needed to get money from his car. Thornburg objected and put her hand out to get her marijuana back, according to court documents.
Hursey told police that Woody hit Thornburg and then shot her in the face. Hursey told police Woody said he shot Kinsley, according to court documents.
After the three left the scene, Hursey said they went to the house of Dehart’s mother, Joan Dehart, and burned clothes and shoes in the backyard.
Hursey said the next morning Joan Dehart woke up him and Kyle Dehart and asked where Woody was. Dehart told his mother he was downstairs sleeping.
Already aware of news reports about the killings, Joan Dehart told them she would be their alibi and say she heard them come in, according to charging documents.
Police say that Joan Dehart then took Woody in the car with her.
Woody was found at the One Stop gas station in Mishawaka under blankets in?Joan?Dehart’s car.
According to court documents, Woody told police he was hiding because his name was all over the news as being wanted for murder.
Woody, Kyle Dehart and Hursey are being held in the Kosciusko County Jail with no bond.
Joan Dehart was arrested for assisting a criminal, a level 6 felony. She is out on bond. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10.
Ashlyn Shepard, who was Kyle Dehart’s girlfriend at the time, was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the murders. She is out on a bond and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for Nov. 7.
Jury selection is scheduled for two days, and the five-day jury trial will begin Monday in Kosciusko Circuit Court with Judge Michael Reed presiding.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton will represent the state.
Woody is represented by Joseph Sobek and Scott Lennox, Warsaw.
Dehart is represented by Lawrence Hansen, Noblesville.
A murder charge carries penalty of 45 years to life in prison without parole.
Story By The Times Union