Jury selection is underway in the murder trial of a Nebo man charged in a 2015 shooting death.
34-year-old Jerry Ryan Echols of Nebo faces one count each of first-degree murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest, possession of a firearm by a felon, driving while license revoked without impaired revocation and possession of marijuana up to ½ ounce.
On June 17, 2015, McDowell County investigators responding to a welfare check found the body of 39-year-old Christopher Wayne English at the intersection of Pinnacle Heights Drive and Pinnacle Church Road in Nebo. It was determined that English had been shot and died on the scene.
Many hours of investigation led to Echols as the shooter, authorities allege. According to Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, it appeared to investigators that Echols and English got into an argument on Pinnacle Church Road on the morning of June 17, and Echols shot English multiple times.
On the evening of June 19, McDowell detectives located Echols’ vehicle on Pinnacle Church Road. When they attempted to stop the black SUV, Echols reportedly sped up and led authorities on a chase to Trinity Church Loop and then to Dysartsville Road, where the defendant stopped the automobile in the middle of the road and was taken into custody.
During a search of the vehicle, authorities found a handgun that was sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis in relation to this homicide.
Prior to the jury selection process on Monday, Echols pleaded not guilty to the shooting on the grounds of self-defense. Echols is represented by defense attorney Sam Snead. Assistant District Attorney Kent Brown will represent prosecution.
Judge Thomas Davis will be presiding over the trial, set to continue on Tuesday.