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Trial begins this week for man accused of murdering his wife on Halloween
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Jury selection for the trial of Thomas Marlin Francis Sr., for the 2006 alleged murder of his wife in their Social Circle home begins Monday in Newton County Superior Court.

Attorneys David LaMalva and Alvin Leapheart, representing Francis, filed an insanity defense after the defendant underwent a mental evaluation. LaMalva had no comment about the insanity plea, but said his client was ready for trial.

Francis was also evaluated for the prosecution by a doctor from Georgia Regional Hospital at Augusta and found to be competent and responsible, said Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrorey.

The prosecution will be drawing on a list of about 15 to 20 possible witnesses and experts while the defense has submitted about 10 to 15 experts and witnesses they could call upon, according to McCrorey.

Francis, 63, is charged with allegedly shooting his wife, Shelly Francis, 52, shortly before 8 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2006. She was reportedly able to call 911 before the call was abruptly ended. She was later found dead in the master bedroom of multiple gunshot wounds.

When deputies arrived, they reportedly saw Francis near the front door and arrested him without incident.

Francis faces one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, five counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, one count of family violence battery and one county of obstruction of an emergency call.

He was hospitalized briefly in December 2006 for fainting spells, a side effect of high blood pressure, according to doctors.