By Billy Davis
A circuit jury was seated in Batesville Monday to hear the murder trial of Dennis Ray Cosby.
Cosby, 54, stands accused of killing his wife, Windy Cosby, and throwing her body off a bridge into the Tallahatchie River.
The defendant was set to plead guilty at a May 22 hearing but instead, testifying on the witness stand, claimed his wife voluntarily jumped into the muddy river.
“I didn’t kill her,” he told District Attorney John Champion.
Cosby’s denial was followed by prodding questions from Champion before Judge Andrew C. Baker called a recess. In chambers, Champion and Cosby’s attorney, David Walker, jointly entered a motion to withdraw the guilty plea.
The case was then set for trial.
Walker said last week he continues to serve as Cosby’s public defender.
The attorney also said his client has hired a jury consultant, used to aid in jury selection.
“That was a suggestion I made to him and he agreed to it,” Walker said.
Walker also said he expects his client to testify during the murder trial.
Baker is again presiding over the trial.
Champion and Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale will present the state’s case.
Authorities have said Dennis Cosby disposed of his wife’s body from a bridge on Paducah Wells Road in Tallahatchie County.
Windy Cosby’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River on February 10, 2008. The body had no identification, except for a ring on the left hand, and she remained a Jane Doe for five months.
On July 10, 2008, Sandy Ealy, a sister to Windy Cosby, contacted Panola sheriff’s investigator Mark Whitten to report her missing.
Whitten’s calls to surrounding counties led to a positive ID of Cosby’s body. Her DNA was matched with that of her child.