TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A jury has officially been selected to hear the trial in the murder of Abilene realtor Tom Niblo.
Monday afternoon, eight women and four men were chosen for the jury, as well as one man and one woman who will serve as alternates.
During the voir dire process, many of the 125 potential jurors revealed they had personal or professional connections to some of the witnesses, officers, and other people giving testimony in the trial, many of whom are well known citizens in Abilene.
However, only a few potential jurors admitted to having prior knowledge about the Niblo murder investigation.
The trial is set to begin with opening statements Tuesday morning. KTAB and KRBC will be providing extensive updates from court. Check BigcounryHomepage.com for the latest updates throughout the day.
Suspect Luke Sweester, charged with Murder, attended a pre-trial hearing Friday, still in custody, wearing an orange jumpsuit with shackles around his wrists and ankles.
During the hearing, KTAB and KRBC learned that 125 potential jurors were qualified Friday afternoon, ahead of voir dire. From there, a jury of 12 with two alternates will be chosen to hear the trial.
Sweester’s defense attorney stated that if too many people in the jury pool know of the case during voir dire, he will have to file a change of venue motion. It’s unknown how that motion would affect the trial.
Niblo was shot and killed inside his home on Woodridge Drive.
Indictment: Brother-in-law was suspect who shot and killed Abilene realtor
Niblo was Sweetser’s brother-in-law, and court documents suggest that the two could have been involved in an ongoing dispute over Niblo’s late father’s estate. His will named Niblo and his mother as an executor, but not his sister, Sweetser’s wife Ellouise.
When investigators executed a search warrant on a storage building connected to the Niblo family after his murder, they discovered stolen firearms belonging to a local attorney in a safe solely controlled by Sweetser. He has been charged with Theft of a Firearm in connection to this incident, and is set to stand trial for this charge on August 22 as well.
The trial begins at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.
BigCountryHomepage.com will continue to monitor the status of these trials. Check back for any updates.