Judge puts off ruling on motion to exclude evidence.

BARNSTABLE — Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the murder trial of Kelly Ridley Jr., and attorneys for both sides are expected to make opening statements Thursday.

Ridley, 20, is charged in the fatal stabbing of Thomas Russell Jr., 26, at a Hyannis house party in October 2016.

Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo said Wednesday he needed to hear more evidence before ruling whether to exclude evidence that could show that Ridley fled from the scene.  

Defense attorney Christopher Belezos had filed a motion Tuesday to exclude evidence of Ridley cutting a GPS monitor from his ankle and fleeing, assuming Ridley agreed to a stipulation that he was guilty of at least manslaughter. Stipulating to the lesser charge and excluding certain evidence could protect him from a first-degree murder conviction.

Rufo said there were too many questions about the context and what evidence would be affected. He cited Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Flanagan's question whether evidence of Ridley being tracked by a K-9 and a sheriff's deputy through the woods after Russell's death would be excluded.

"I didn't know about that yesterday," Rufo said. "That's why I don't want to rule."

Flanagan is prosecuting the case because a relative of Russell's works in the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.

Belezos objected to Rufo not making a ruling, and he did not indicate if he would stipulate during his opening statement that Ridley committed manslaughter or not mention it.

The attorneys also wrapped up two days of jury selection, picking seven more jurors for a total of 16, four of whom will be alternates.

The trial could last until Nov. 7 or 8.