Clayton Inmate Beating Death Trial will Proceed

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A federal judge is going ahead with the trial of a former prison supervisor accused of beating to death an inmate.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday that defense attorneys for former Lt. Michael Smith did not engage in racial discrimination in striking potential jurors who are black.

Opening statements in Smith's trial were originally scheduled for Friday, but the judge delayed them until Monday while considering the jury selection issue.

Smith is accused of violating the rights of inmate Rocrast Mack by fatally beating him, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

The incident happened at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton in 2010.

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