Testimony began Thursday afternoon in the capital murder trial of a Pulaski County man accused of killing another man while both were inmates at the Tucker Maximum Security Unit in 2010.

Testimony began Thursday afternoon in the capital murder trial of a Pulaski County man accused of killing another man while both were inmates at the Tucker Maximum Security Unit in 2010.

“This is the most important case you will ever sit on in your life because it is literally a case of life or death,” Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Juneau said during his opening statement Thursday afternoon.

The state is seeking the death penalty for Charles V. Moorman, 61, who is charged with fatally stabbing Eddie Smith Jr., on Sept. 2, 2010.

The seven man, seven woman jury, including two alternates, was seated after three days of jury selection that began Monday afternoon. Jurors were questioned in groups of three, with the final jurors and alternates chosen late Wednesday night.

Juneau, along with with Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter and Deputy Prosecutor Jill Reed are representing the state.

Juneau said Moorman purposely caused the death of Smith and his actions were premeditated and deliberate, the legal definition of capital murder.

Moorman was serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of three counts of capital murder.

Smith was also serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole on a conviction of kidnapping and capital murder from Arkansas County.

They were both porters at the prison, with Moorman being responsible for the gym.

Juneau described Porter’s position as a sought after job and said Smith and Moorman worked “side by side,” because Smith was a porter for an adjacent area.

He said Smith had gone to the laundry room at the prison to pick up cleaning supplies and Moorman followed, approaching Smith as he stood in the doorway of the laundry room.

Investigators had determined that Smith was killed with the blade of a pocket knife.

“It was not a big knife,” Juneau said. “There was no argument, no confrontation. He stuck the knife in Smith’s neck and Smith bled to death.”

In his opening statement, defense attorney John Cone said “From the git-go, there is no question that Charles Moorman was an inmate in the Department of Corrections. There’s no question that Eddie Smith died. The question is how did it happen.”

“Was the altercation the result of a confrontation?” Cone asked. “Was it premeditated and deliberate?”

After reading the legal definitions of both first and second-degree murder, Cone asked the jury to “decide what the facts are.”

Arkansas State Police Sgt. Kenneth Whitmore, who was lead investigator on the case, said he took photographs at the scene, and collected the white prison uniform Moorman was wearing because there appeared to be blood on it, and that uniform, as well as the knife believed to be the murder weapon, were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory at Little Rock.

“I wanted to see if the blood on the uniform matched the victim’s blood and if the blood on the knife matched the victim or the suspect,” Whitmore said.

Questioned by Cone, who is being assisted by Deputy Public Defender Chris Hayes, Whitmore said he read Moorman his rights, then had a conversation with him for 20 to 30 minutes, describing Moorman as “cooperative from the beginning.”

When Whitmore told Moorman he was investigating a homicide, he said Moorman “continued to answer questions.”

That interview was recorded and using it and his handwritten notes, Whitmore said he prepared a case summary of the incident which was sent to prosecutors.

Tucker Warden William Strong explained the security system at the prison, telling Reed that the facility has 12 barracks and two isolation units, and is capable of holding up to 600 inmates.

Strong said the prison had a number of video cameras and using video from those cameras, showed the jury a person he identified as Moorman walking down a hallway a short time after a person he identified as Smith had walked in that same direction.

Using a diagram to explain the layout, Strong said both men were walking toward the laundry room and said “Moorman had something in his hand.

“You can’t tell what it is but you can tell by the way he’s looking at his hand that he has something,” Strong said.

He also said that because of the camera angles in the laundry room, there was no video of the altercation or of Smith being stabbed.

Testimony will continue Friday in Fifth Division Circuit Court with Judge Jodi Raines Dennis presiding.