Allegations of Witness Tampering as Murder Trial Starts in Tri-C - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Allegations of Witness Tampering as Murder Trial Starts in Tri-Cities

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Benton County prosecutor says a man about to go on trial for murder may have tried to tamper with witnesses.

Attorneys Tuesday started interviewing potential jurors for the trial of Grant Scantling, accused of murdering Franklin Palmer, 24, the roommate of Scantling's former fiancé, Ann Krebs.

Prosecutor Andy Miller says taped telephone conversations last month from jail suggest Scantling may have contacted certain witnesses to influence their testimony. Miller says two inmates also came forward last Friday with similar stories.

Tampering with witnesses is a felony.

Superior Court Judge Robert swisher turned down a defense request to delay the trial, but authorized the defense to hire a private investigator to look into the allegations.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will choose a jury from a pool of 85 people. The first witnesses are scheduled to take the stand Thursday, with the trial expected to last about three weeks.

If convicted of first-degree aggravated murder, Scantling,41, faces a possible life prison term without the chance of parole.