Jury selection underway in Gibbs murder trial

FD man, 28, accused in death of Shane Wessels

Levi Gibbs III

Jury selection has begun in the first-degree murder trial of Levi Gibbs III.

The process began Monday, but no jury had been seated by the time court adjourned Monday afternoon.

Court will reconvene this morning to narrow down the pool to 12 Webster County residents.

Once the jury is seated, testimony is expected to begin in the trial in which Gibbs, 28, of Fort Dodge, is accused of shooting and killing Shane Wessels, 32, of Fort Dodge, in the early morning hours of Sept. 3, 2017, near the Mini Park in Pleasant Valley. The park’s name has since been changed to H.C. Meriwether Park.

On Monday, nearly 100 people were gathered in the courtroom at the Webster County Courthouse. Some of the members of the jury pool were sitting in extra chairs that had been brought in.

During questioning, some jurors were taken to the judge’s chambers, where they were asked in greater detail about various aspects of the case.

The case began on Sept. 3, 2017, after Fort Dodge police found Wessels unresponsive around 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of 10th Avenue Southwest and 10th Street Southwest.

They reported that he had been shot, and there was reportedly a fight shortly before the shooting.

Wessels was transported to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Gibbs was named the suspect in Wessel’s murder on Sept. 12, 2017.

He was arrested by Des Moines police on Sept. 18, 2017, after tips led to his location.

Gibbs has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is being held in the Webster County Jail on $1 million bond.