Man accused of murdering couple on trial - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man accused of murdering couple on trial

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family's nightmare could soon come to an end. The man accused of using an ax to murder the family's loved ones is preparing to go to trial.

It was a Christmas nightmare, a couple found dead in their home and an ax murderer on the loose.

Nearly three years later, the man accused of killing the two people is about to go on trial.

Joshua Cline, an accused ax murderer, has been in jail for nearly three years. Cline is finally set to go to trial.

The defense attorney, Gerald Skahan, believes his client's life is in the balance.

"He's a former marine. He's young. His entire life hinges on the next 5 to 10 days." stated Skahan.

On Christmas Eve in 2010, two people were found dead in a house on Brower near the University of Memphis.

Cline is being accused of killing his uncle, Donny Ellsworth, and Ellsworth's girlfriend, Jerri Meister.

Cline's uncle, Donny Ellsworth, can be seen in a 1998 video after a jury convicted Michael Rimmer of killing Ellsworth's wife.

According to police, Cline had been living with the couple at the time of the murder. However, he disappeared after the murders and used his uncle's credit card at an ATM.

Cline was found overdosed in a hotel room four days later.

Now, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty as Cline goes to trial.

"This is the place we get to finally swing back and defend our clients. (We can) look at all of the evidence and (see) what really happened," said Skahan.

Skahan maintained Cline is not guilty.

He said Cline often used Ellworth's credit card to run errands for his uncle and he questions if prosecutors even have anything that links Cline to the crime.

"Whether the physical evidence matches some of the things the police are saying and whether it makes sense...what (is)the theory of the government at this point," declared Skahan.

Monday's trial did not have any testimony. Instead, it was just jury selection.

The trial is expected to begin Tuesday morning and last at least the week.

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