The ground work for a two part trial was laid out by the State Attorney's office in court; they're trying to prove their case against Patrick Michael Bass, who is believed to have shot a Panama City Beach man.
Jury selection began Monday morning; they're being called upon to determine if Patrick Bass had a fire arm in his care and if in fact, the defendant is a convicted felon. Bass faces two charges stemming from the May 2011 shooting of 43-year-old Anthony Petracca.
The counts are being tried separately. The state agreed to do so, to protect the defendant from an unbiased jury. Before facing the more serious charge of manslaughter, Bass will be tried on the count of felon in possession of a firearm.
Bass' attorney asked the Judge to consider the evidence as part of a stand your ground hearing. "During the Wednesday and Thursday hearing on the felon in possession of a firearm charge, I can listen to the evidence and make a determination if in fact you are amend from prosecution under that statute." Judge Michael Overstreest says.
In Florida, it is unlawful for a felon to possess a firearm. There are exceptions to that rule: they can possess a weapon in a life and death situation.
Four women and three men were selected to serve on the jury. Opening arguments will begin Wednesday.