ESCANABA — Kallay Batchelor sat quietly between his attorneys Wednesday afternoon as his murder trial began.
Kallay, 36, is accused of killing his 33-year-old wife Heather Batchelor, on Sept. 3, 2014. He is being tried on a first-degree murder charge.
Jury selection was the first thing on the agenda Wednesday morning. For nearly 3 1/2 hours, both the prosecution and the defense picked through the jury pool. Both sides went through 29 potential jurors when they decided on the 13 people, 8 men and 5 women, that would makeup the jury for this case.
At 1:15pm, the jury was seated for opening statements. Both sides looked to establish their cases early.
“This case ended with murder,” said Delta Co. Prosecuting Attorney Philip Strom. “If the defendant couldn’t have Heather, no one was going to have Heather. Those things will become apparent when the evidence is presented to you over the next several days.”
“Things will be introduced, evidence will be presented, but you need to keep in mind is that just because someone is painting it in a certain light, doesn’t necessarily mean what that piece of evidence means,” said defense attorney John Bergman.
Heather Batchelor’s mother, Doris Kern, and aunt, Los Giroux, were the first two witnesses to take the stand. Kern and Giroux talked about Heather’s relationship with the defendant. Both witnesses said that Heather had separated from Kallay and was planning to divorce him.
Doris and Lois both at Doris’s house on Stephenson Ave. in Escanaba. Both women were asleep on Sept. 3, when Heather’s 5-year-old daughter woke up Lois and said something was wrong with her mom. When Lois went to the upstairs bedroom where Heather was, she was already dead.
“I went up (to the bedroom) right away and I found my daughter on the floor,” said Kern. “I lifted her arm up and I took her pulse. She had no pulse, she was cold.”
“I couldn’t say knife, I couldn’t say that she had a knife in her throat. I just couldn’t bring myself to say that,” said Giroux.
When asked by defense attorney John Bergman, Giroux said that she heard a couple of noises in the house that night, but she did not hear any screaming.
The trial is expected to last eight days. Day two begins Thursday at 8am.