Jury seated in trial of woman charged in death of mother

JONESBORO — A jury has been seated in the trial of a woman accused of stabbing to death her mother in an argument over her eviction from the family’s home.

Takeyia Kentay Guthridge, 25, of Jonesboro has been held in the Clayton County Jail since her arrest last year in the death of Deloise Adu. Police found Adu inside the family’s Carnes Estates Drive home stabbed multiple times June 11, 2012.

The two women allegedly argued over Adu’s evicting Guthridge out of the family home, said police. Prosecutors said the stabbing happened in front of witnesses.

A jury of 10 women and two men, plus a male alternate, was seated late Monday afternoon. Within minutes, however, a bailiff told Clayton County Superior Court Judge Matthew Simmons there was an issue with one of the jurors.

The female juror told Simmons she is the sole caregiver for her mother, 75, and wondered about being seated for a lengthy trial. However, after briefly questioning her, Simmons said he was confident she would be able to leave her mother for two to three days

Prosecutor Jason Green said his case will likely wrap up by lunchtime Wednesday. Defense attorney Alfonso Kraft said he will have one witness at the most.

After the jurors left for the day, Simmons and the attorneys discussed statements that have the potential to be hearsay testimony. Green said Adu’s widower, Joseph Adu, and stepson Frank Adu could testify that she was scared of her daughter in the days leading up to her death.

“She expressed concern to her stepson less than a week before this happened,” said Green. “And a neighbor also remembers two days before this happened that the victim expressed that Guthridge said she wished her mother was dead.”

Green said the mother changed the locks not only on exterior doors but interior ones out of fear of Guthridge.

Kraft said he thinks the statements constitute “double hearsay.”

“Some of the actual facts contradict what witnesses will say about the victim’s concerns about my client,” he said. “Yes, she changed the locks but she let her into the home. I think there’s a question about their reliability but without knowing exactly what they plan to say, I just don’t know. It’s hard to determine how unreliable they are.”

Simmons said he’d have to hear the testimony before he could rule on whether or not it is hearsay.

“I think I’d have to hear what they have to say first,” he said. “When we get to those witnesses, I’ll rule at that time.”