A jury has been seated and testimony is underway in Douglas County in the first-degree murder trial of 42-year-old James E. Hitchcock of Ava.

Douglas County Prosecutor Chris Wade says that Hitchcock shot and beat to death his ex-wife's boyfriend, Wendell Hillhouse of Branson, on County Road 335 in August of last year.

Authorities say Hillhouse was helping the woman move some vehicles owned for her ex-husband, Hitchcock, when they drove up on Hitchcock they thought he was having car trouble because the hood to the car he was driving was up.

When the couple stopped the woman says Hitchcock allegedly shot Hillhouse twice and dragged him into the woods where he beat him in the head with a baseball bat.

The circuit clerks office in Douglas County says that testimony is expected to last until about 6:30p.m. and that testimony will resume in the morning.

Hitchcock is also facing armed criminal action charges in the case as well.

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