Jury set; trial will start today

John Zick
Marland D. Brooks

Opening statements are scheduled for this morning in the murder trial of an Elmira man who allegedly killed a Corning resident during a drug-related robbery last June.

A full jury was seated in the case Wednesday after three days of selection. Judge Marianne Furfure is overseeing the trial in Steuben County Court.

Marland D. Brooks, 39, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and three other felonies in the killing of 26-year-old Clark VanEtten.

According to police, Brooks and Samantha N. Smith, 28, of Elmira, went to VanEtten’s Park Avenue home June 18 to rob him of money. Brooks allegedly stabbed VanEtten twice.

Brooks, who also faces an assault charge after 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. Her case is pending.

VanEtten had a wife and two children.