Calvert hearing: Man accused of killing wife back in court - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Calvert hearing: Man accused of killing wife back in court


The Smith County District Attorney's Office intends to seek the death penalty against a Tyler father accused of killing his ex-wife and kidnapping their son.

Police say that last October, James Calvert forced his way into the home of his ex-wife, Jelena Sriraman, and then fled with their 4-year-old son.

An Amber Alert was issued and Calvert and the boy were located by authorities in West Monroe, Louisiana that night.

It became evident in court Thursday that Calvert didn't want our cameras in the courtroom when his attorneys asked that the media be banned from future hearings leading up to the trial.

Calvert's attorneys said they were concerned that publicity would make it difficult to pick an impartial jury when jury selection is scheduled to begin next year.

Judge Jack Skeen, Jr., denied the request to ban the media from the courtroom. However, we learned this could be the last time we see Calvert in his jail jumpsuit.

Calvert's attorneys asked if he could wear street clothes in the courtroom from now on.

The judge did not approve that request, saying "That's fine. We'll have the defendant dressed out in street clothes, but I'm not going to in any way whatsoever bar the media's access to any proceedings in the case, pretrial or otherwise. There has to be an awful lot of publicity to actually affect the court and the defense and state council's ability to select a fair and impartial jury, but i'm going to deny that at this time and if you want to raise it again, you can raise it, Mr. Haas."

Regarding the status of preparations for the trial, DA Matt Bingham told the court his office has handed over more than 3,000 pages of information and evidence pertaining to this case to Calvert's attorneys.

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