Trial of Jasper County teen murder suspect begins Monday

The trial of a Jasper County teenager accused of killing an 86-year-old Ridgeland man is scheduled to begin Monday.

Breon Alexandre, 16, was arrested and charged in July 2008 in the death of Proctor Bright, a mechanic, decorated World War II veteran and owner of the oldest, continuously operating black business in Jasper County.

Authorities said the teen left his house at about 3 a.m. July 18, 2008, hitchhiked to Bright's Grahamville Road home and climbed inside through a window.

Alexandre allegedly found Bright's .22-caliber rifle and woke him up. Investigators said Alexandre beat Bright, shot himand slit his throat with a knife. He then took Bright's car keys and money and drove Bright's car toward North Carolina.

The car broke down in Clarendon County on Interstate 95, according to investigators. Alexandre sold the car and gun to a tow truck driver and used the money to buy a bus ticket to Greensboro, N.C. Authorities arrested him there about a week after the slaying.

Alexandre was charged with six offenses, including murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

14th Circuit Family Court Judge Peter Fuge ruled in September that 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone could try Alexandre as an adult.

The teenager has been jailed at the Jasper County Detention Center without bond since being moved there from a Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Columbia last year.

The trial will begin with jury selection and Circuit Judge J. Ernest Kinard hearing pre-trial motions from Stone and Alexandre's attorney, Steve Plexico. Plexico is chief public defender, for Allendale, Hampton and Jasper counties.

Alexandre faces life in prison if convicted.