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Jury Selection Continues in Noah Crooks Murder Trial

Posted at: 04/30/2013 11:24 AM
Updated at: 04/30/2013 3:15 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The murder trial of a north Iowa teen is now underway. As we've reported, Noah Crooks, 14, is charged in the shooting death of his mother Gretchen in March of 2012.

Due to a concern over pre-trial publicity, the trial was moved from Osage to Clarion.  Tuesday, the Iowa Attorney General's office narrowed a pool of 100 potential jurors down to 32.  From there, a jury will be selected.  The process is taking longer than expected, therefore it's unlikely opening statements will take place.

Court documents show a then 13-year-old Noah allegedly shot his mother 21 times before attempting to sexually assault her. 

The investigation shows Gretchen Crooks was sitting on a couch in the living room using her laptop when police believe her son opened fire on her with a semi-automatic rifle. Shots were fired from 15 feet away, and Crooks was hit 21 times. Documents show Noah Crooks is the one who called police and stayed on the line until authorities arrived.

Gretchen was found partially clothed. Documents allege Noah professed intent to commit sexual abuse, but the act never actually happened.

Investigators say Noah had thought about the attack, and it was unprovoked. The teen is being tried as a youthful offender, which is very rare.

He's charged with first degree murder and intent to commit sexual abuse. If found guilty, Noah will remain in custody until he is 18. The courts could then decide to keep him detained longer.

On Friday, his lawyers also filed a consequence motion.  That means the defense wants the opportunity to explain what would happen to Noah if he were found not guilty by reason of insanity.  The lawyers say Noah would be immediately taken to a mental facility.  The judge will have to make a ruling prior to the conclusion of the trial.

ABC 6 will continue to bring you the latest on this high profile murder trial.