After a morning of questions, jurors were selected to determine whether a 29-year-old man murdered his ex-girlfriend's cousin in 2014.
Rodney Jennings faces charges of second-degree murder, assault and possession of a firearm with felony convictions for the Jan. 28, 2014 incident.
Police say Jennings arrived unannounced at an East Lake apartment around 6 p.m. wanting to see his children.
The mother told Jennings their youngest son, then 2, was asleep and asked him to leave three times, records show.
Instead, Jennings hung around the kitchen until her cousin, Raphael White confronted him. "We don't want no trouble," White said. Jennings agreed, then shot White in the chest as he backed out the door, records show. He sprinted away and was arrested in March 2014 in Memphis.
"Has anybody been in a situation where they've had to defend their family?" attorney Brian Pearce asked during jury selection. He and attorney Brandy Spurgin are representing Jennings.
"Can you imagine what that might be like to be in a situation where you're frightened of another person and have to act out of self defense?" Pearce continued. "If you're confined by three people and you're not certain, but you feel strongly that they're going to threaten you?"
One juror agreed.
"What would you do to survive?" Pearce asked.
"I think I would do what feels necessary to survive in that situation," the juror replied.
Opening arguments are expected next, followed by the state's witnesses.
This is a developing story. Read tomorrow's Times Free Press for more details.