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Murder trial begins today

Alan William McCullers, accused with another man of beating to death an elderly drifter in November 1992, will go on trial today on a charge of first-degree murder. A jury of eight men and five women was chosen Monday, and opening arguments will begin this morning. The battered, naked body of Raymond Francis Kocis, 60, was found in the woods Oct. 25, 1992. Investigators said McCullers, 30, of Shady Hills, and co-defendant Robert Lewis Moore, 33, killed Kocis after an argument over cigarettes. If convicted, McCullers could face the death penalty. Moore, his co-defendant, probably will be tried in the spring.

Store robbery nets $2,000 in cigarettes

Almost $2,000 in cigarettes was stolen early Monday morning from an Eckerd Drug Store in Seven Springs, according to sheriff's reports. Investigators believe a piece of cement block was thrown through a glass door of the store at 1252 Seven Springs Blvd., allowing 120 cartons of Marlboro, Salem and Winston brand cigarettes to be removed from a display. Nothing else was reported stolen. No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon.

Murder trial to begin

Robert Garner, 19, enters the courtroom in Holiday on Monday for jury selection in his first-degree murder trial. Garner is the second of three youths to stand trial in the 1992 slayings of Madeline Weisser, 75, and her son, John Bowers, 55, of Hudson. Alvin Morton, who led the attack, was convicted Feb. 4. Timothy Kane's trial follows Garner's.