Today marks the third day of jury selection in a four-year-old Catoosa murder case.

Derek Glenn Arnold, 39, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the trial that began Monday with jury selection. The charge stems from the 2002 murder of Michael Nolen Yarbrough. Eric Hamilton, 30, is also charged with first-degree murder in the case, but according to Rogers County First Deputy District Attorney Ray Hasselman, Hamilton will testify on behalf of the state during the trial.

The state listed nearly six pages of witnesses Monday, including Hamilton, Rogers County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators, Catoosa police officers, and several Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation representatives.

Jury selection began Monday, with more than 80 jurors present in Rogers County District Court.

During the selection process, defense attorney Jack Gordon asked some hard hitting questions concerning the death penalty. According to Oklahoma law, anyone convicted of, or pleading guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to first-degree murder shall be punished by death, life in prison without parole or life in prison.

The line of questioning conducted by Gordon including inquiries as to how long each juror had held their beliefs about the death penalty. Most jurors said they didn’t form their opinions about the death penalty until becoming an adult and being out on their own. A few said they “really didn’t think about it,” until after their children were born. During questioning, most jurors also said they would consider all three punishments, if the case progressed that far.

On Tuesday, six jurors were excused, one for having religious beliefs that prohibited her from being able to vote in favor of the death penalty, should Arnold be convicted. A candidate for Rogers County Commissioner was also among the jurors questioned. He stated that his vote on the jury, if selected, would not affect the outcome of the July election.

Jury selection was scheduled to continue today, with opening statements and testimony anticipated later in the week.

Arnold and Hamilton were accused of murdering Yarbrough after his body was discovered Aug. 1, 2002, under a bed at Super 8 Motel in Catoosa. A maid reported finding the body packed in ice with the head covered while cleaning the room.

According to reports, Arnold was seeking Yarbrough because he had allegedly stolen $1,400 in checks. Arnold reportedly complained to hotel employees concerning the stolen checks.

Hamilton turned himself in at the Tulsa Police Department, according to records, and made a statement regarding the murder. In his statement, Hamilton said Arnold came to Yarbrough’s room at the motel where Arnold covered Yarbrough’s face with a pillow and began beating him with a tire tool. Yarbrough was then taken to the bathroom where Hamilton alleges Arnold attempted to drown the victim, records show.

A plastic bag secured with tape was then placed over Yarbrough’s head after being pulled out of the tub, according to Hamilton’s statement. The victim was then placed on his stomach, according to Hamilton’s statement, where Arnold placed his foot on Yarbrough’s back before grabbing and pulling Yarbrough’s legs, breaking his back. Yarbrough’s body was then placed under the mattresses in the room and packed with ice, according to the statement.

Arnold and Hamilton were booked into jail on Aug. 5, 2002, with no bond. The two have been housed in the Rogers County Jail for nearly four years awaiting trial.