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A dozen jurors were selected last week to determine the fate of a man accused of strangling and beating a high school cheerleader to death in 1974.
Glen Samuel McCurley, 78, is accused of killing 17-year-old Carla Jan Walker, who vanished after a Valentine’s Dance in Fort Worth. Her body was found in a ditch three days later after being sexually assaulted, strangled and beaten. Her case turned cold for decades until McCurley was arrested last year after DNA allegedly linked him to the crime scene.
On Thursday, a panel of 12 Tarrant County residents was selected to determine McCurley’s fate, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. He faces a capital murder charge and possible life imprisonment. While the alleged killer sported a wheelchair and a mask during a pretrial hearing in June, he had neither on Thursday, according to the Star-Telegram.
Prosecutor Kim D’Avignon listed at least 12 witnesses who will be called on by the prosecution during the upcoming trial, beginning Thursday. Fort Worth detectives who questioned McCurley after his arrest and Carla’s boyfriend Rodney McCoy are among those witnesses.
Walker and McCoy, then a Western Hills High School football quarterback, met up with friends and then stopped by a Fort Worth bowling alley after they attended the Valentine’s Day dance on the day Walker vanished. McCoy has always maintained that a man approached the couple while they were sitting inside his car at the bowling alley parking lot and pointed a gun at him. He said he was beaten unconscious, and when he awoke, he found Walker missing.
Investigators now believe that it was McCurley who approached the couple and that he abducted Walker, holding the high school cheerleader captive for days. They believe she was tortured and even injected with morphine before her death.
DNA evidence recovered on clothing and a bra worn by Walker during the attack was recently sent to private lab Othram Inc., which was able to create a full DNA profile of a suspect. That, in turn, led investigators to McCurley, who was already named as a possible suspect in Walker's case file. He had been originally linked to the crime because he owned a gun that matched a magazine found at the crime scene, according to authorities.
Walker’s mysterious killing was explored in an episode of “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes,” which aired last year. Her older sister, Cindy Stone, described her as a “little spitfire” in an interview with Holes on the show.
Holes, a renowned cold case investigator who worked on the Golden State Killer case, told Oxygen.com last year that the arrest “does not bring Carla back, but most certainly will help the family get justice for what was done for Carla.”
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