Tuesday morning the trial began for Rufus Miller, a Bay County man accused of killing the owner of a tow truck company.
Twelve jurors in the courtroom of Bay County Judge Michael Overstreet listened as both sides gave their opening statements. Rufus Miller is on trial for the murder and armed robbery of Jerry Brown in December of 2002.
Brown disappeared on the 27th and his body was found a couple days later at a cemetery in Washington County. He had been shot several times and was missing his pants and shoes.
State prosecutor Bill Lewis says he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rufus Miller shot and killed Jerry Brown and then left his body in that cemetery where Miller's own mother is buried, and his list of witnesses totals almost 40 people.
Defense attorney Walter Smith says the lack of physical evidence and the character of some key witnesses is enough to give any juror reasonable doubt about the guilt of Rufus Miller, "He never got in, he didn't have a firearm, he didn't shoot Jerry Brown.
This is a type of case that requires a lot of attention and focus on the details. If you can do that just bear with us through this week."
Most of Tuesday was spent detailing the last couple days before Jerry Brown disappeared. The trial is set to continue through the week and possibly into the weekend or next week if necessary.
Rufus Miller does face the death penalty for first-degree murder if the jury finds him guilty.