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Murder trial enters third day

SALEM – The jury trial of a 25-year-old accused of fatally stabbing his roommate enters its third day today, after two packed days of jury selection, testimony and forensic evidence.

Samuel Lucas Hale is facing the possibility of 20 years to life in prison if convicted of murdering lifelong friend Joshua Louis McCoy in their Glenmary Apartment in the early morning of Jan. 16.

The jury watched and heard more than three hours of videotaped Salem Police interviews after Hale was taken to the police station for questioning shortly after the 3:38 a.m. call he made to 911, saying first that his roommate had been injured by falling through a window.

Hours later Hale admitted to a detective that he lied, and McCoy had instead been cut by a knife Hale had gotten out of the kitchen.

After McCoy lunged at him, Hale said he reacted instinctively with the knife in his hand. McCoy got up and walked out of the kitchen to the outside door, he said, before slumping down. According to police, McCoy bled out while Hale was holding his friend, trying to stop the flow of blood.

The state medical examiner is scheduled to testify this morning, after Salem Forensics Officer Lt. Tim Carroll completes his testimony. On Tuesday, Carroll explained more than 39 pieces of evidence he collected and photographed in the apartment, which is on Lewis Avenue across Main Street from CVS.

The eight-woman, five-man jury has 13 members instead of the usual 12 for a felony case, in case one of the jurors were to become ill or have a serious family emergency, Salem Circuit Judge Pat Doherty Jr. explained. The 13th juror will not know he or she is an alternate until the end of the trial.

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