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Jury seated in trial of accused cop killer Jamie Hood | News

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Jury seated in trial of accused cop killer Jamie Hood
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ELBERT COUNTY, Ga. -- More than four years after Jamie Hood confessed to the shootings of two police officers in Clarke County, a jury has been seated for trial.

The jury was selected from Elberton, which is about 40 miles from Athens, Ga., because prosecutors said there was too much pretrial publicity about the case in Athens.

Even in Elbert County, jury selection took more than three weeks.

Prosecutors say it was difficult to find jurors who had not heard about the Hood case or formed opinions about it.

Still, the Georgia Supreme court denied a recent motion for a change of venue.

Hood faces 70 charges, including felony murder for the fatal shooting of officer Buddy Christian and aggravated assault for the wounding of Officer Tony Howard.

In an exclusive phone interview, Hood told 11Alive's Valerie Hoff had a history of bad blood with Officer Howard.

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"This man had jumped on me and beat me before when I was at the jail," Hood said. "I got 20 years of my life for a crime I'm innocent of."

The trial now moves to Athens, where despite numerous objections, Hood insists he'll get a more fair trial by defending himself.

"This is why they want to shut my mouth," Hood said. "They want to draw me up as incompetent to shut my mouth."

Opening statements are set for Thursday. The judge is expected to hear several more motions on Wednesday.

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