A trial date for fall of 2024 has been set for two men who face a possible death penalty after being accused in the murder of Bianca Horton before she could testify against a gang member.
Judge Boyd Patterson set the first-degree murder trial of Courtney High and Andre Grier to begin around the first of October 2024. Attorneys and prosecutors will go to Knoxville Aug. 26-29, 2024, for individual questioning of prospective jurors. They will return to Knoxville on Sept. 30, 2024, for final questioning and impaneling of the jury. The jurors will then be brought directly to Chattanooga to begin the trial.
The jurors will be sequestered during the trial that is expected to last about two weeks.
In case it is decided to try High and Grier separately in the capital case, Judge Patterson set a time for a second trial. It would be in March 2025 with jurors again obtained from Knoxville.
But first there will be a trial against Courtney High for another murder he faces. That is not a capital case. That will be Feb. 26, 2024, with a pre trial conference set for Jan. 9, 2024.
High was earlier charged with the June 12, 2016, shooting of 22-year-old Jerrica Jackson. A witness testified that High came to Atlanta and gave details of the murder.
The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office earlier recused itself from the cases.
Outside prosecutors named are Colin Campbell and Cameron Williams, two former prosecutors here when Neal Pinkston was district attorney, and Jennifer Nichols, of Memphis.
High and Grier were initially charged along with Charles Shelton in the Horton slaying. Shelton died while at the county jail in September of 2021 from apparent complications of COVID. He was 31.
Ms. Horton had been set to testify against Cortez Sims in his murder trial and in the incident in which he shot her daughter Zoe. Ms. Horton was shot several times and her body was dumped on the side of the road.