TOPEKA (KSNT) – A jury of 12 people and 3 alternates have been seated and opening statements got underway Wednesday for the man accused of killing Washburn football player, Dwane Simmons, and injuring his teammate, Corey Ballentine.

Francisco Mendez is standing trial for the murder of Simmons and the shooting of Ballentine. On April 28 2019, Washburn football player Dwane Simmons was killed and newly-drafted NFL player Corey Ballentine was shot. The two men were shot in Topeka at a house party celebrating Ballentine.

“The driver asked if we smoke, we said no,” Ballentine said in court during a hearing. “The guy in the backseat said ‘What’s your name?’ Somebody out of my friend group answered and said “Don’t worry about that.’ They pulled off and they started shooting.”

Simmons was buried at Interment XII Gates Memorial Gardens in Kansas City on May 4, 2019.

Three months later, Topeka Police charged then 18-year-old Francisco Mendez with the death of Simmons.

In January of 2020, the lawyer representing Francisco Mendez filed a motion to change the venue of the trial due to the media attention surrounding the case.

The judge denied the motion on Jan. 31, 2020.

The jury trial is expected to last 14 days, according to the Shawnee County Court Administrator.