The trial of a man who is accused of concocting a story about a home invasion to cover up the murder of his father began with jury selection Monday in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

Prosecutors accuse Herbert Meyers III, 37, of gunning down Herbert Meyers Jr. with an AK-47 at a home near the University of New Orleans in March 2015, then trying to pin the crime on a pair of phantom burglars.

Herbert Meyers III repeated the story about shooting at burglars to news media in the hours after his father’s death. But police said the only shell casings found at the scene were from his pistol-style AK-47.

Meyers is charged with second-degree murder. He faces life in prison without parole if he is convicted on that charge.

Prosecutors said Monday they had offered Meyers a plea deal that would let him plead guilty to a reduced charged of manslaughter in exchange for a 39-year sentence. He rejected the offer.

The trial could offer answers to the question that has lingered since Meyers’ arrest: Why would a son kill his father?

The elder Meyers was a well-liked contractor with a longtime passion for jazz. He was a partner with his son in a jazz club in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Meyers claimed in an interview with The New Orleans Advocate that he left his father’s house in the 2400 block of Oriole Street for 15 minutes to buy supplies for the club. When he returned, he said, he found his father shot in the kitchen.

“I start checking him out,” Meyers III said. “And then, as I was doing that ... I heard a (voice) from his bedroom, catty-corner from us, whispering, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ ”

Meyers III said he ran to his truck for his AK-47. Then he went back inside and started shooting at one of the robbers, who had an AK-47 himself, he said. But both intruders were able to escape, he said.

Police said they were not able to find any evidence proving there was a burglary. Ballistics testing confirmed that all 17 shell casings on the scene were from Meyers’ gun, they said.

In addition to that ballistics evidence, prosecutors said Monday they intend to use Meyers’ own words and social media posts against him.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins said the state would seek to introduce the tape of a phone call Meyers made Saturday from jail, as well as social media posts showing him with the AK-47 the day before his father died.

The case is being tried in Judge Byron C. Williams' court.

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432