PINEVILLE — The murder trial for Caleb Saddler that was to begin Monday has been postponed until today.
McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Pierce said the trial was delayed because of an appointment the presiding judge in the case, Timothy Perigo, had on Monday.

Jury selection will begin Tuesday with the interviews of 60 prospective jurors called in the case. An additional 45 will be interviewed Tuesday afternoon before opening arguments begin.

The trial is expected to last through Friday.

Saddler, 29, is accused of murdering Michael Smith, 31, of Goodman, in May 2012. Acting on a tip, Newton County deputies found Smith's charred body inside a plastic barrel that had been sealed with cement and rolled into a ravine on a Newton County farm near the intersection of Trout Farm Road and Impala Drive. The property purportedly belongs to a relative of Saddler's. Smith had been shot once in the head with a handgun. A .45 caliber pistol, thought to be the murder weapon, was later recovered from a relative of Saddler's in Granby.

According to the McDonald County Sheriff's Department, unnamed witnesses say that Saddler shot Smith on the night of May 17-18, 2012, at a home about five miles west of Goodman on Route B, after the two got into an argument. Investigators say that Saddler then attempted to dispose of Smith's body by burning it, placing it into the 55-gallon plastic container, filling the container with cement and dumping it in the Newton County ravine.

Saddler was arrested May 24, 2012, in Del Rio in connection with Smith's murder, held for a day by Texas authorities, then brought back to McDonald County after waiving extradition.

A variety of witnesses have been subpoenaed, including Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges, former McDonald County Coroner Tracy Dowd, area law enforcement agents and detectives, and members of Saddler's family.

Saddler has lived in both Neosho and Granby and attended Neosho High School.