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Jury Selection Begins in Murder Trial of Waynesboro Reserve Officer

Posted: Updated: May 04, 2015 04:33 PM
Kevin Quick Kevin Quick
The 4 defendants charged with kidnapping, murder, racketeering and robbery. The 4 defendants charged with kidnapping, murder, racketeering and robbery.
Two suspects charged with racketeering and obstruction of justice. Two suspects charged with racketeering and obstruction of justice.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The federal trial of six people charged in connection with the slaying of 45-year-old Waynesboro Police Reserve Officer Captain Kevin Wayne Quick is underway. Capt. Quick was reported missing on Feb. 1, 2014. His body was found days later in woods northwest of Richmond.

Four defendants, Travis Bell (also known as Kweli Uhuru), Daniel Lamont Mathis, Shantai Monique Shelton and Mersadies Lachelle Shelton are charged with kidnapping, murder, racketeering and robbery in connection with the death of Quick. Gert Arthur Wright III (also known as Halisi Uhuru) and Anthony Darnell Stokes are charged with racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Jury selection began Monday, May 4, in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville. Defense attorneys and federal prosecutors spent the entire day questioning people from four different pools of potential jurors who will eventually make up a 14 person jury. Potential jurors were asked questions ranging from how recent events in Baltimore have affected them to their presence on social media.  The U.S. Attorney's Office says final jury selections should happen sometime Tuesday morning, with opening statements likely to start in the afternoon.

All six defendants are facing life in prison for their involvement in what prosecutors will try and prove was a criminal enterprise spanning central Virginia. Federal prosecutors say the group is comprised of members of the "99 Goonz Syndikate" and associated with the Bloods street gang.

On January 31, 2014, Kevin W. Quick left his mother's house in Afton to visit his daughter in Albemarle County. He never made it to see his daughter, and did not show up at his brother's birthday party the next day either.  After a week of searching, his family received the news no family wants to hear, crews found Quick dead more than 50 miles from where he was supposed to be.

Investigators say Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Travis Bell carjacked Quick, drove his Toyota 4Runner to different ATMs, beat him and then killed him.  Quick's car was dumped in Louisa County. His body was found later found in Goochland County.

Gert Wright and Anthony Stokes are not charged in the death of Quick. Instead, investigators say they were the gang's ring leaders. Prosecutors will try to prove a racketeering conspiracy, which features a string of crimes including two 2013 robberies, one at the Barracks Road Market and another at the Columbia Market.

In November 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took the death penalty off the table for the four tied to Quick's murder.

Three other defendants originally charged in this case have already pleaded guilty to some involvement. The U.S. Attorney's Office says it is likely those three will take the stand sometime over the course of the trial, which could last up to six weeks. 

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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