Jury set for Gary Stoddard murder trial




Posted on June 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 7:28 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—A jury was seated Tuesday in the Gary Stoddard murder trial. He was accused of kidnapping and killing Heather Cassel in March of 2013.

Stoddard’s nephew, Jon Ritchey, took a plea bargain for his role in the killing.

READ: Murder victim's family loses faith as accused killer takes plea deal

The jury that was seated on Tuesday was made up of half men and half women. Cassel’s family said knowing opening arguments would begin on Wednesday was extremely unnerving. They said justice would ease some of their pain.

“Heather was my angel. She was always happy, she was smiling, never angry,” said Cassel’s mom, Caroline Wilson.

Detectives said Stoddard shot Cassel twice, once in the face and once in the chest. They believe Stoddard kidnapped Cassel.

Ritchey was also charged with Cassel’s murder but was offered a deal. Cassel’s family was desperate for justice and was hoping they would get it with Stoddard.

READ: Accused Heather Cassel killer to be released from jail

“I'm nervous. It's very scary,” said Wilson.

Stoddard and Ritchey were both expected to testify.