JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Zebulum James’ murder trial began Tuesday morning in Hinds County with James just recently being found mentally competent to stand trial.
Despite that, he is using insanity as a defense.
James fired his attorney the day before the trial and is providing his own defense, though he is getting guidance from a court appointed attorney.
It’s been four years since prosecutors say he went on a shooting spree across the city, fatally shooting Suzanne Hogan at a north Jackson gas station then shooting and killing Kristy Lynn Mitchell outside a Ridgeland restaurant.
He is also accused of shooting into a Jatran bus and homes at other locations.
James told jurors he was mentally ill at the time of the shootings.
He admits to the crimes, but says he should be found ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors believe he may have been on drugs when the shootings occurred, and say that’s no excuse for his actions.
During opening statements, James said, “I’m raising the issue of not guilty by reason of insanity as my defense because there are reports to support I was insane at the time of the incidents that occurred.”
James said he planned to call his own family members as witnesses, after prosecutors present their case.