Joseph Harris on Trial for Albemarle Murder - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Joseph Harris on Trial for Albemarle Murder

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Jailhouse informants are the highlight of a murder trial that got underway Monday in Albemarle County. 

Joseph Harris is accused of killing Anthony Lorenzo Johnson on Pantops Mountain in 2005. He is facing six felony charges including first-degree murder and robbery.  While the murder happened in 2005, Harris was not arrested until 2010.

Prosecutors say the Harris was serving time in Albemarle - Charlottesville Regional Jail when he allegedly confessed to killing the victim and the confession was reportedly caught on tape. 

The trial started Monday morning with jury selection.  Both sides asked potential jurors a number of questions including firearms concerns, media exposure and issues with using jailhouse informants.

After jury selection, the commonwealth got right into its case. Witnesses spent the day setting up the crime scene where Johnson was found.  A woman walking her dog found his body in a gravel parking lot on Free Bridge Lane near Darden Towe Park on February 21, 2005.  He was face down with a gunshot wound to his head.

The commonwealth is expected to put on witnesses through Wednesday and play the tapes.  Prosecutors say they will use a number of "jailhouse snitches" who will testify in exchange for benefits.  One of those prisoners claims that Harris told him, "I got one body.  I shot him in the (obscenity)." 

The trial is expected to last five days.  The trial has already been continued twice. 

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