Deptford cop on trial

The suspended Deptford cop faces murder charges and is also charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a former high-school friend in January 2013 after a night of drinking.

James Stuart went to trial Wednesday in Gloucester County Criminal Court to face murder charges. 

The suspended Deptford cop is also charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a former high-school friend in January 2013 after a night of drinking.

On the night of January 5th, 2013, there was a call from Officer Stuart, “We have a man, he was playing with a weapon, it was loaded and there was a shot fired.”

The trial began with jury selection, a long process that Stuart's attorney, John Eastlack, declined to comment on.

Judge Robert Becker did not allow cameras into the courtroom.

He read off a long list of those who might testify, including medical and law enforcement professionals.

Stuart called a side line to the Gloucester County emergency dispatcher, a move that troubles the parents of the victim, David Compton.

They have said that they feel foul play was involved in the shooting.

All the same, Stuart shot down a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 26 years, saying he's innocent of any wrongdoing. 

Eastlack, his attorney, said in pretrial hearing that Stuart's blood alcohol level was at 9.19 the night Compton was shot.

The judge said that once jury selection is complete he expects the trial will take 10 to 13 days.

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