Jury selection begins in murder trial

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Carson City man accused of shooting a local contractor to death.

Anthony Echols, 41, appeared in Carson City District Court beside his attorney, Nathan Tod Young, to face trial on charges of first-degree murder and burglary. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

On Monday, the prosecution and defense whittled a pool of 180 potential jurors. Twelve will be seated with two alternates.

Prosecutors say Echols shot contractor Rick Albrecht Aug. 5, 2000, as he sat unarmed on a couch in his Fire Box Road home.

Echols had been released from jail on bail earlier that day for allegedly violating a protective order filed against him by his estranged wife, Karen. Prosecutors contend Echols drove to Albrecht's home because he saw him as a romantic rival.

Friends said Karen Echols and Albrecht had been involved in a relationship, but Albrecht's family denies any romantic involvement between them.

Albrecht's death was the catalyst for his family to lobby the Legislature for a mandatory 12-hour cooling-off period following arrests on violation of protective orders. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2001.

The trial is expected to last eight days.

Jury selection continues today.


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