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Jury selection begins in barber’s shooting death

JONESBORO — Jury selection began Tuesday in the case against three men accused of murder in the April 2012 death of a barber.

Attorneys questioned jurors as part of the process of selecting a panel of 12 plus alternates to hear the case against Mashawn Anthonio Gresham, 28, of Riverdale; Kenneth Todd Gresham, 29, of Conley and Kenneth Lamar Gresham, 27, of Atlanta.

They are charged with multiple murder, aggravated assault and weapons violations in barber John Goodrum’s death. The three defendants are related to each other.

Clayton County Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Katie Powers asked jurors if any of them had a bad experience with police. One juror raised her hand and said police officers were “rude” and “mean” during a traffic stop for DUI.

The woman said she was unsure if she could be fair and impartial if one of those same officers took the stand during the trial.

“It would be in the back of my mind, that I told the truth and they didn’t believe me,” she said.

The woman said she passed sobriety field tests but the officer said he smelled alcohol and charged her with DUI. She said she pleaded guilty because she could not afford an attorney to fight the charge.

Another female juror told Powers that four of her friends were charged with murder in Fulton County and that they were not treated fairly by the police or the prosecutors. She said she attended their trial and was not happy with the outcome.

She, too, told Powers she could not be fair or impartial if she were picked for the Gresham trial.

A third woman, whose father is in prison, also said he was treated unfairly and that would affected her ability to be impartial if she were seated on the jury.

Once a jury is impaneled, opening statements will begin. If convicted of murder, the men face a minimum of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Another alleged shooter, Keyon Butler, was shot in the hand but survived. Clayton County police Detective John Gosart testified in June 2012 that Butler was not charged because it was determined he fired in self-defense. The street shootout broke out about 10 p.m. during a birthday party on John Arnold Circle in Conley, said Gosart. Butler and Kenneth Todd Gresham, known as “K.D.,” had a previous altercation that erupted again during the party, he said.

Goodrum, who spent most of the party inside the house giving haircuts, had stepped outside only to get chicken off the grill when he was shot, said Gosart.

“He was hit in the back and the bullet went into the right side of his back and exited the right side of his chest,” he said. “He died at Grady.”

Gosart said Goodrum’s body was found in the street behind Butler.

Because the bullet exited Goodrum’s body, Gosart said there is no projectile to compare to and identify the gun used to kill him.

“I found three different brands of .40-caliber shells in two different locations at the scene,” he said. “The bullet that killed Goodrum was not found.”