Challenging Issues To Sort Out For Jury In Scott Pattison Murder Trial

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 21, 2010 Updated Oct 21, 2010 at 5:44 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A terrible accident or a case of cold-blooded murder?

A Wabash County jury will soon have to make a decision in the murder trial of Scott Pattison.

Jury selection commenced on Thursday.

The fact that Wabash Circuit Court officials reserved two full days just to get a 12-member jury panel seated, tells you this trial could be a long, drawn out affair.

Pattison has been jailed for 13 months in Wabash, following indictment by a grand jury on one count of murder in the July 2009 death of his wife, 36-year old Lisa Pattison.

Scott Pattison told police he returned to the couple's LaFontaine home to find his wife unresponsive on a workout bench with a weight across her throat.

He loaded the woman into a vehicle and drove towards Marion General Hospital, where he met up with medics enroute.

But Lisa Pattison was pronounced dead upon arrival for treatment.

Prosecutors must overcome some hurdles in their efforts to get a conviction.

No one other than Scott Pattison and the victim saw what happened inside the home that day, but the state will get some help from the fact that the judge in the case ruled that surveillance video from security cameras at the home will be admissible at trial.

That video reportedly shows Scott Pattison coming and going from the scene around the time of the death, which contradicts his earlier account to investigators.

The trial will grab the spotlight in Wabash County.

Krystal Niccum/Wabash County Resident: " I read about the case this morning a little bit in the newspaper. It's kind of interesting, though it’s not really the kind of news you want your community to make."

Kathy Parrett/Wabash County Resident: " It's something big for Wabash. I think people here will be paying attention to the trial."

The Pattison couple was living together; despite the fact Scott Pattison had filed for divorce in early 2009 and was allegedly having an extra-marital affair.

He was also a co-beneficiary in a $450,000 life insurance policy taken out on Lisa Pattison, which undoubtedly will be part of the testimony in a trial that is scheduled to last three weeks.

Opening statements are supposed to take place on Monday.

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