The remaining alternate jurors needed to serve in the capital murder trial against a 20-year-old Pine Bluff man accused of killing and kidnapping Elvia Fragstein in July 2018 were selected Tuesday afternoon.
Defense attorneys William “Bill” James Jr. and Jeff Rosenzweig and 20th Judicial District Prosecutor Carol Crews and senior deputy prosecutor John Hout questioned five prospective jurors on Tuesday and ultimately selected three of the five – two women and one man – to serve as alternate jurors.
Eight women and four men were selected last week as primary jurors in the death-penalty trial against Tacori D. Mackrell. As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, three women and two men had been selected to serve as alternate jurors in the case against Mackrell.
The 20-year-old Pine Bluff man is charged with capital murder, kidnapping, robbery and theft of property in connection to Fragstein’s disappearance and death.
The Wooster woman was reported missing on July 7, 2018, by her husband, Helmut, after she did not return home from shopping on the day in question. Security footage from the Conway Commons shopping center later showed the woman’s vehicle, a silver 2013 Honda CR-V, erratically leaving the TJ Maxx & HomeGoods parking lot.
Authorities reviewed surveillance footage at the shopping center because her bank transactions showed she last shopped at TJ Maxx at 3:30 p.m. on the day in question. The Wooster woman had previously told her husband she would return home by 5 p.m. that day.
Elvia’s body was located in a wooded area along Gibb Anderson Road in Jefferson County on July 11, 2018. Mackrell and his younger cousin, Robert L. Smith III, are both charged in connection to the Wooster woman’s disappearance and death. Mackrell was 18 years old at the time of the alleged offense and Smith was 16.
Mackrell faces the death penalty and is scheduled to stand trial later this week.
Prosecutors will begin with opening statements at 9 a.m. Thursday, followed by the defense team.
The trial is scheduled to run through Oct. 16 in Faulkner County Circuit Court.