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Jury Selection Begins in Trial of Man Accused in Slaying

November 30, 2000

VENTURA — About 500 prospective jurors filed into Superior Court Wednesday as jury selection got underway in the trial of accused killer Justin Merriman.

A 28-year-old skinhead gang member, Merriman is facing charges of rape, murder, conspiracy and other crimes in connection with the slaying of 19-year-old college student Katrina Montgomery.

Merriman allegedly assaulted Montgomery sexually at his Ventura home on Nov. 28, 1992, then stabbed and beat her to death before forcing two younger gang members to help him dispose of the body. Her remains have never been found.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Merriman, whose trial is expected to span two months.

Testimony is expected to begin in January.

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