ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - UPDATE: Jury selection ended at 1:00 p.m. on Monday. Opening arguments begin at 2:15 p.m.
Jury selection is underway in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria for the trial of Nate Cain, the former warden of the Avoyelles Correctional Center.
Cain is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 17 counts of wire fraud. He is being represented by John McLindon out of Baton Rouge. Assistant U.S Attorneys Luke Walker and David Ayo are prosecuting the case for the government.
Both Cain and his now ex-wife, Tonia, were charged in the case. Tonia pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As a result, the wire fraud charges were dropped. She will be sentenced on October 9. She faces 20 years in prison or a $250,000 fine or both. She is expected to be called as a witness in her ex-husband's trial.
According to the FBI, the two are accused of using Tonia's state Visa card, and other cards, to purchase pet food, pet beds, pet collars, toilet paper, tires, a generator, furniture, TVs, cleaning products, Christmas decorations, a pink princess chair, a pressure cooker, and garden tools. They are also accused of using state money to purchase lumber and plumbing supplies to build an unauthorized house on the prison grounds.
Nearly 40 potential jurors were called in for the jury questioning process on Monday morning. Judge Dee Drell told the jury that he expects the trial to last the week. Roughly two dozen witnesses will be called.
During the jury questioning process, one potential juror pointed out that he knew of Nate Cain because "everyone" knows who his father is, the former warden of Angola, Burl Cain. Several jurors told the court that they previously worked at Angola and some said they had experience in corrections at other facilities.