Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Gordan Randall Gwathney, 47, whose trial on three capital murder charges began with jury selection on Monday. A jury was seated Thursday night, and members of the panel heard opening statements Friday.

A prosecutor says the actions of a man accused of killing three family members will rebut any claim the defendant makes about being mentally ill at the time the crimes occurred.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Gordan Randall Gwathney, 47, whose trial on three capital murder charges began with jury selection on Monday. A jury was seated Thursday night, and members of the panel heard opening statements Friday.
Gwathney is accused of the Feb. 13, 2007, slayings of his mother-in-law, Sylvia Reeves, 51, at her home on Arkansas 261 in Lee County, and her parents J.O. Mitchell, 81, and Evelyn Mitchell, 79.
In his opening statement, Prosecutor Fletcher Long outlined the events at issue.
"The defendant said he should be exonerated because he was suffering from dementia or delirium and didn't know what he was doing," Long said. "You may wonder why, if he admits it, are we taking up your time?
"You need to see what he did because what he did will speak more loudly about his lack of dementia and delusion than any psychiatrist can."
Gerald Coleman, Gwathney's attorney, told jurors that Gwathney suffers from insomnia, flashbacks from his military time in Somalia and Haiti, depression and social isolation, and had been taking medication prescribed by a Veteran's Administration doctor.
"In the end, we believe you will find that he could not control his mental capacities, and we believe you will find him not guilty by reason of medical disease or defect," Coleman told jurors.
Lisa Reeves, Gwathney's estranged wife at the time of the killings, was the first witness called by the prosecution. Her testimony was followed by a video shown to the jurors of the crime scene by Arkansas State Police Investigator Dale Arnold.
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Information from: Times-Herald, http://www.thnews.com/