Trial Begins In Slaying At Pharmacy Case
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of Brenda Coney, the woman accused of shooting and killing a pregnant pharmacy manager at an area hospital two years ago.
A judge originally ruled Coney was not mentally fit for trial. After that ruling, Coney underwent months of treatment at a state psychiatric facility before a judge decided she was competent to stand trial.
Coney is accused of killing 37-year-old Shannon McCants, a wife and mother of two who was expecting her third child.
On Monday, Coney was in court, and for the first time she faced some of the men and woman who will decide if she's guilty of first-degree murder.
Investigators said Coney came to the pharmacy at Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center with a gun in November of 2006.
According to police, Coney shot McCants in the head and two other times in the busy hospital pharmacy.
Investigators said Coney admitted to the shooting and said it happened over a dispute that happened two days earlier when police said Coney got out of line, and then tried cut back in.
Since the shooting, McCant's husband Derrick has spoken out publicly about his pain.
"She blessed me with two beautiful kids and that's why I stand before you now because I asked God down on my knees, I said, 'God, what will you have me do now?' My anchor is gone," McCants said.
Last year, it looked like Coney's day in court wouldn't come after she was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a state mental health facility. However, in April, psychologists reevaluated Coney and found her competent.
Five months later, jury selection was under way. Potential jurors were asked to think long and hard if they'd consider insanity to be a defense to a crime.
The defense is expected to argue that Coney is insane and use that as a defense.
The trial will begin on Tuesday at 10 a.m. If convicted, Coney could face life in prison.
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