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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jury selection got underway late Tuesday in preparation for the triple murder trial of Justin Hurd.

Hurd could face the death penalty if he is convicted of the murders that happened in Charlotte nearly five years ago.

Investigators have never given a hint of a motive for the killings and in court. Hurd's lawyer argued Tuesday that there is no direct evidence linking him to the killings.

The defense motion to exclude the death penalty, however, was denied.

In February 2008, firefighters were called to a home engulfed in flames on Patricia Ryan Drive.

Inside they found the bodies of 33-year-old Kinshasa Wagstaff and 34-year-old Kevin Young. Investigators say both of them had been murdered prior to the fire starting.

Hours after the fire, another body was found, this time in a car in Huntersville.

The body was identified as 18-year-old Jasmine Hines, Wagstaff's niece.

Investigators said they believed it was a targeted attack but have never provided any details of the killings that shook the quiet neighborhood.

Some neighbors put their homes up for sale after the gruesome murders and other neighbors were reluctant to talk to reporters.

It was nearly a year later that Hurd was arrested on a charge of grand theft auto in Ohio, where he was later charged with the three murders.

Jury selection is expected to take at least two days and maybe more.

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