Jury selected in Coast Guard shooting trial

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

A jury has been selected in the Anchorage trial of 63-year-old James Michael Wells, a former Coast Guard civilian technician charged with murder in the deaths of two co-workers at a Kodiak communications station.

Wells is charged with shooting 51-year-old Richard Belisle and 41-year-old Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins.

Federal prosecutors say Wells created a false story about a flat tire on April 12, 2012, and used his wife's sport utility vehicle to follow his co-workers to the communications station, shoot them and exit without being seen.

Defense attorneys say Wells is innocent and the government will not be able to link surveillance video to the SUV.

Seven women and eight men were selected as jurors Monday. Three will be alternates.

Opening statements are planned for Tuesday.