First Trial Begins In Ohio Septic Tank Body Case

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Jury selection has begun for the trial of a southeast Ohio man charged in the slaying of his estranged wife, who was found strangled in a septic tank last year.

More than 350 potential jurors were called to the Hocking County Common Pleas court Thursday morning. They were given questionnaires about their backgrounds, the death penalty and pre-trial publicity about the case of 27-year-old William Inman II.  

Inman is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities say his wife Summer Inman was abducted, strangled and dumped in an underground septic tank behind a church in nearby Athens County.

Inman and his parents have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge John Wallace denied a motion to change the venue and instead ordered potential jurors to complete a three-part questionnaire.

One is general in nature, one pertains to the death penalty, and the third is about pre-trial publicity.

"What we're trying to do here is we're trying to find twelve people who can set aside anything that they may have heard about this case, any sympathies, prejudices, passions, whatsoever, so they can decide the case solely based on the facts they hear in this courtroom and the law," he said.

Potential jurors will be questioned individually starting Tuesday and a jury will be selected later in the week.

Trials for Inman's parents are scheduled later this year.