Jury selection to begin for Oklahoma man in students’ deaths

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FILE – This Feb. 3, 2020, file photo from the Cleveland County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Office shows Max Leroy Townsend. Jury selection is set to begin in the case of Townsend, charged with murder for crashing his pickup truck into a group of high school cross country runners, killing three and injuring five. Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said jury selection will begin Tuesday, June 14, 2021, in the trial of Townsend. (Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin in the case of an Oklahoma man charged with murder for crashing his pickup truck into a group of high school cross country runners, killing three and injuring five.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said jury selection will begin Tuesday in the trial of 58-year-old Max Leroy Townsend.

Townsend has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and multiple counts of fleeing the scene of an accident.

The February 2020 crash in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore killed 16-year-old Yuridia Martinez, 17-year-old Rachel Freeman and 18-year-old Kolby Crum.

Townsend has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney has said he hopes jurors selected for the trial will keep an open mind.

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