A jury was impaneled Thursday to hear the case of a Vista man charged with trying to murder a sheriff's deputy during a shoot-out in a Vista neighborhood.
Opening statements were scheduled to begin today in Mark Raymond Phelps' trial before San Diego Superior Court Judge William D. Mudd. The trial was moved from North County because no courtrooms were available within the time prosecutors had to begin the case.
Phelps, 27, is accused of ambushing Deputy James Bennetts, who was wounded twice by bullets from a submachine gun during his July 31 chase of a car registered to Phelps, who the deputy knew had outstanding arrest warrants.
Bennetts, a 4-year veteran, was found by other deputies sitting against his bullet-riddled patrol car. His assailant eluded an all-night manhunt.