Jury selection continues in trial

John Zick
Marland D. Brooks

Jury selection will continue today in the murder trial of a 39-year-old man who allegedly killed a Corning resident during a drug-related robbery last year.

Five jurors were seated Monday during the first day of selection in Marland D. Brooks’ murder trial in Steuben County Court. More prospective jurors will be screened this morning.

Brooks, who lived in Elmira at the time of his arrest, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and three other felonies for allegedly killing Clark VanEtten during a robbery June 18 at VanEtten’s Park Avenue residence in Corning.

According to police, Brooks and Samantha N. Smith, 28, of Elmira, went to VanEtten’s apartment to rob him of money. Brooks allegedly stabbed VanEtten twice.

Brooks, who also faces an assault charge for allegedly injuring a Steuben County Jail officer during an altercation last week, told authorities he killed VanEtten in self-defense. He faces a life sentence if convicted of murder.

Smith was charged with robbery.

VanEtten had a wife and two children.