By Will E Sanders
TROY — It took the prosecution and the defense in the Patrick McGail murder case all of Tuesday to seat a jury of 12 and two alternates, who will all begin hearing testimony Wednesday into the Halloween eve shooting death of Nathan Wintrow.
A jury pool of 48 endured a daylong jury selection process in the courtroom of Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee on Tuesday that ended with a jury of six men, six women, and two female alternates.
McGail, 18, of Troy, was indicted by a grand jury on the charges of murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary, along with a firearm specification, in the Oct. 30 homicide of Wintrow, 20.
Prior to the start of the four-day trial, Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell told the court the state offered a plea agreement in the case that dismissed the firearm specification, but defense attorney Christopher Bucio told the judge his client “refused the offer” and wanted his case tried before a jury.
Opening statements will begin Wednesday morning, followed by the state’s case in chief with testimony from law enforcement agents who responded to or investigated the murder of Wintrow. Wintrow was shot at point-blank range with a 9mm handgun in front of his girlfriend and her child at their 218 E. Canal St., Troy, residence in what police documents allege was a premeditated robbery for money and marijuana.
Also expected to testify on behalf of the prosecution are McGail’s two co-defendants, Jason C. Sowers II, 17, and Brendon A. Terrel, 19, both of Troy. Both teens have already been convicted for their part in the Wintrow murder through a plea bargain and a deal that stipulates their “substantial assistance” in prosecuting McGail.
Sowers, the gunman who fired the fatal shot, has pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary, and will be sentenced Aug. 14. Terrel, who waited outside the home as the murder took place, entered no contest pleas and was found guilty of complicity to aggravated robbery and complicity to aggravated robbery with a firearm specification. Like Sowers, he will also be sentenced after the outcome of the trial.
At the time of the murder, McGail and Sowers were juveniles, but they are being tried as adults in accordance with state law.
Authorities say McGail and Sowers broke a window and entered through a rear door at Wintrow’s residence before the fatal shot was fired.
Wearing glasses, a long-sleeved blue shirt and tie with khaki pants, McGail sat flanked at the defense table by Bucio and fellow attorney Joshua Albright. A court order announced by Gee prohibits the media from photographing the teen-aged murder suspect.
It still remains unclear if McGail, who is out on bond, will take the witness stand in his own defense.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.