Jury selection for murder trial on tap

By Phillip Williams
The capital murder trial of one of two suspects who were arrested in connection with the 2018 slaying of a Longview woman is scheduled in Gilmer next week.
Jury selection for Carlton Lamar Grant is set for 9 a.m. Monday at the Gilmer Civic Center, said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd. The trial starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday in 115th District Court at the Upshur County Justice Center.
Grant is charged with strangling Rachel Ann Rhoads, 24, on or about March 29, 2018. Grant was 37 and of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area when he and female co-defendant Lindsey McFadden, then 29 and of Longview, were arrested April 5, 2018, in Fort Worth, authorities said.
Grant remained in Upshur County Jail at Gilmer on Monday. His bond was set at $5 million when the county grand jury indicted him in July 2018, court records show.
The charge of capital murder, punishable in Texas only by lethal injection or life imprisonment without parole, resulted from the fact he was allegedly in the course of kidnapping or attempting to kidnap Rhoads when she was slain.
Under Texas law, murdering someone while in the course of committing another felony is considered capital murder, as opposed to murder, which isn’t punishable by death.
Then-115th District Judge Lauren Parish issued a “gag order” in the case, and it is unknown whether Byrd will seek the death penalty.
Rhoads’ body was found on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, near Diana.
At the time, Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb’s office said some individuals who were recreationally riding in a vehicle found the remains just off a pipeline right-of-way on FM 726, just north of Texas 154. The site is about three miles west of Diana.

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