Jury Selected in Murder Trial for Former Dover School Custodian - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Jury Selected in Murder Trial for Former Dover School Custodian

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DOVER, Del.- Jurors on Monday were selected in the trial of a former custodian at a Dover elementary school who was charged with murder in the death of a man killed in his workplace's parking lot.

Prosecutors and the defense attorney for Rodney West, of Dover, selected a jury consisting of seven women and five men to determine whether West is guilty of first degree murder in the 2018 shooting death of Derrick Combs outside Towne Point Elementary School. West was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Opening arguments are expected to begin Tuesday.

Police said Combs was shot in the Towne Point parking lot shortly before 10 p.m. on Aug. 28, 2018. West was identified as a suspect and extradited from Maryland on Sept. 4, days after he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

Court documents obtained by WBOC said surveillance camera footage showed West shooting Combs and then fleeing the scene.

The probable cause affidavit for West's arrest said the video also showed Combs pulling into the parking lot and stopping his truck in front of West's car while still leaving a path to exit.

Additionally, court documents said West called Towne Point's principal after the shooting to explain what happened, claiming he had told Combs to leave him alone but was blocked in at the parking lot.

The affidavit said West told the principal, who was not identified in the document but is named Toriano Giddens, that he got out of his car and shot Combs.

According to court documents, Giddens told police he was familiar with Combs because Combs' wife previously worked at the school. The affidavit said Giddens also said he was aware of an "argument" between West and Combs.

The affidavit also said West called Giddens while the principal was with a Dover police detective, at which point Giddens put the phone on speaker mode.

Court documents said West told the detective he needed time to clear his head and that he "was blocked in and did not know what to do" and would turn himself in the following morning.

Defense Attorney Joe Hurley has said he will push for West's innocence by means of self-defense.

 

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