Defense lawyers read from pages of questions Monday as they began screening possible jurors for the military murder trial of Marine Sgt. Joseph L. Thomas, who is accused of beating his wife to death with a tire iron.
Thomas, 28, was charged April 5 with the murder of Melinda Thomas, 24, whose body was found in a burning vehicle in Riverside County. The autopsy showed that she was four months' pregnant when she was found last December. According to defense attorney Maj. Mark Stevens, Thomas has pleaded innocent to a charge of premeditated murder, an offense that could result in the death penalty.