ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Pre-trial motions took place in the murder of Abilene realtor Tom Niblo Friday morning, revealing jurors will be chosen from a pool of 125, and a change of venue motion could still be filed.
Suspect Luke Sweester, charged with Murder, was at the hearing, 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 will be quailfied Friday afternoon, ahead of voir dire, which is scheduled to begin Monday. 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 Monday, he will have to file a change of venue motion. It’s unknown how that motion would affect the trial.
Currently, opening statements are set to begin Tuesday morning. If too many members of the public show interest in attending the trial, it will have to be moved to a bigger courtroom, or it will be livestreamed.
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.
BigCountryHomepage.com will continue to monitor the status of these trials. Check back for any updates.