Opening statements will begin Wednesday morning in the first-degree murder and arson trial of a Centerville woman.

The jury was selected and sworn in at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday after a day long process that began at 9 a.m.

A total of 14 jurors were selected. Two of the jurors are alternates, but which ones are serving in that role won't be known until deliberations begin. Ultimately, 12 will determine the verdict in the case.

The jury panel is split with seven men and seven women.

Barbara Lee Pasa, 47, of Centerville, is facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree arson. Centerville Police said that Pasa killed her husband Timothy Pasa and then set their home on fire with his body still inside in May 2018.

A firefighter was injured while fighting the fire at the couple's home.

Police said Pasa was seen leaving the residence at 7:21 a.m. that morning. A call reporting smoke coming from the residence to the Centerville Law Center was recorded at approximately 7:30 a.m.

The trial was originally slated to occur in Centerville, but a judge in April this approved Pasa’s request to move the trial to Monroe County. The judge did so due to a relative of Timothy Pasa working in the Clerk of Court’s office in Appanoose County.

“I’ve got some reservation about having the trial here just given the appearance of impropriety,” Judge Shawn Showers said in April. “I feel a responsibility to promote public confidence in the judiciary.”

The trial is expected to last about 10 days.

Showers told members of the newly-sworn jury that court will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Prosecutors will begin by reading the statement of charges against Pasa and then deliver their opening statement.

Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

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