Jury selection begins Friday in the murder trial of Joseph Lamont Walker, a New Jersey police officer accused of the fatal shooting of a Lansdowne man during a road rage incident in Anne Arundel County last summer.
The case will go on as scheduled after Judge Michael Wachs dismissed a motion Thursday by Walker's attorneys to have the case dismissed.
One hundred and fifty potential jurors have been called to the Anne Arundel Circuit Court in Annapolis for the case, which has drawn attention in law enforcement circles.
Walker, 41, is charged with first-degree murder and two firearms charges in connection with the death of Joseph Dale Harvey Jr., a 36-year-old truck driver who grew up in Millersville.
Court documents indicate Walker and his family left a barbecue in Odenton on June 8, 2013 when a dispute began with Harvey, who was driving with a friend to a bar.
The passenger in Harvey's car told Maryland State Police that Walker's minivan crossed into their lane as both vehicles were turning onto Route 3 near Millersville. Walker told a 911 dispatcher and Anne Arundel County police that Harvey's Honda crossed into his lane.
Both men pulled over, got out of their vehicles and exchanged words before Walker shot Harvey three times, police said.
Walker's attorneys say their client, a detective for the Hudson County prosecutor's office in New Jersey, announced he was a police officer and shot Harvey to protect himself and his wife and three children, who were in the minivan.
Earlier this year, Walker's attorneys sought dismissal of the case. Wachs rejected that motion.
Thursday, Walker's attorneys again sought dismissal, saying they received potential evidence and notice of a witness too close to the trial. They said it amounted to misconduct by the state's attorney's office.
"What else is there we don't know about?" asked Charles N. Curlett Jr., one of Walker's defense attorneys.
Assistant State's Attorney Michael Dunty responded that state police brought him late information — including a ballistics report — that he promptly turned its over to the defense.
Following Friday's jury selection, opening statements are scheduled for Monday.
Lawyers for both sides have been ordered not to speak to the press about the case.
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