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Jury selection starts in case of ex-Marine accused of killing wife, trying to hire hit men

Jury selection began today in the trial of a rural Medford man accused of killing his wife in 2012 and taking part in a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a witness against him in the case.

Bourne Paraday Huddleston, 45, faces a suite of felonies ranging from murder for allegedly shooting his wife Kristy Huddleston to conspiracy and solicitation of murder and one count of illegal possession of a silencer.

Kristy Huddleston was found dead March 23, 2012, in the couple's Pioneer Road home, and court documents state that Bourne Huddleston claimed she committed suicide in front of him.

Instead of calling 911, Huddleston left her body at home with their 10-year-old son, who was unhurt, and drove to Eagle Point, documents state. He later telephoned police, authorities said.

When questioned by investigators, Huddleston told them he did not render first aid to his wife, washed her hands as well as his own and threw parts of the gun away after he left the house, police said.

Some of the charges allege that two Jackson County men earlier agreed to take money from Bourne Huddleston to kill Kristy. Still other charges accuse Huddleston of joining with his sister, 44-year-old Genetta Huddleston-Coradetti of Florida, to hire another man to kill one of the original would-be hit men who was cooperating with police and planned to testify against Huddleston, records show.

Wearing a black suit with a blue shirt and tie, Huddleston greeted prospective jurors when Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia introduced the former U.S. Marine aircraft mechanic and martial arts instructor to them in court.

Prosecutors said they hoped to empanel a 12-member jury some time Tuesday. Testimony in the case was expected to last into mid-week next week.

Kristy Huddleston worked as a nurse care manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City. She helped returning veterans reintegrate into society following tours of duty.

Bourne Huddleston was in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 2009. He served four tours in the Middle East, including two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

Huddleston originally was scheduled to be tried along with Huddleston-Coradetti, but their cases were severed at Huddleston-Coradetti's request, court records show. Her trial on three counts each of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder is scheduled to begin Sept. 2.

Huddleston remained lodged without bail in the Jackson County Jail. His sister posted bail and was released from jail in June, court records show.

— Mark Freeman