In what became the first in a recent series of shootings at schools across the country, Luke Wood-ham allegedly pulled a rifle from a long coat and opened fire on his Pearl High School classmates.
Woodham still faces trial on charges he killed two classmates and wounded seven others, but for now prosecutors are concentrating on the crime they say preceded the school rampage: the stabbing death of Woodham's mother.Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday as Woodham, 17, went on trial for the death of 50-year-old Mary Woodham.
If convicted of his mother's death, Woodham faces a maximum of life in prison. That is also the maximum penalty he can receive if convicted in the school shootings.
Since the Oct. 1 shootings, the state Legislature passed a law that allows the death penalty in cases of multiple deaths and also makes a murder on the grounds of a school a death penalty offense.
Woodham's first trial is expected to last about a week.