LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock jury anticipated hearing opening statements today in the 2005 murder trial of a Pampa family but the case has been delayed. Levi King, 26, is charged with three counts of capital murder and faces the death penalty. The King trial was moved from Gray County to Lubbock County because of extensive media coverage.
NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little was in the courtroom for day one and has details.
In court Monday, Levi King's attorneys requested a motion for a continuance saying DNA test results that they needed were not back yet. Gray County Judge Stephen Emmert told counsel for King and the state he had no other option but to grant the motion.
"Are you the same Levi King the state has charged with capital murder," asks the judge. "Yes sir," says Levi King.
He stood in the Lubbock County Courthouse Monday morning during his arraignment.
"He prefers to remain silent your honor," says King's attorney. On King's behalf, the judge entered a plea of not guilty for each of the three murder counts he is facing. King has seen the inside of a courtroom before last year when he pleaded guilty to the shooting deaths of two in Missouri. King is currently serving two life sentences.
On September 30, 2005, Missouri authorities discovered two bodies in Pineville, MO. On that same day, nearly 400 miles away, Panhandle first responders received a 911 call and discovered the bodies of Brian Conrad, his pregnant wife Michell and her son Zach Doan who were all found shot to death in their one story farmhouse in Pampa.
Missouri authorities say King allegedly took his Missouri victim's truck and drove south to Interstate 40 and went west. Within hours officials say he stopped in Pampa for no apparent reason before heading across the border to Mexico.
King was arrested for the Missouri murders in October 2005 when he tried to re-enter the United States.
Investigators connected the dots across state lines after they found Brian Conrad's identification card in the stolen truck and found loaded weapons King allegedly took from his father including an AK-47, a Russian 6 mm sniper rifle and a 9 mm pistol. Ballistics tests later linked one of the guns to the Texas murders.
King faces anywhere from life in prison without parole to the death penalty. If convicted, King's Texas punishment will take precedence over his current Missouri sentence. Court is in recess until the DNA results come back. Gray County Judge Stephen Emmert says the trial will start as soon as the tests are completed which could be five to seven business days.
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Starting Monday, a Lubbock County jury will hear opening statements in a trial of a man charged with a triple killing in Pampa.