The defense lawyer for a man accused in a double-homicide spent Monday seeking jurors who wouldn't hold his client in a negative light just because the defendant has a number of tattoos on his face.

William Bottoms Jr., 29, of Greenwell Springs, is charged with second-degree murder in the June 2017 shooting deaths of two Baker men — Dedrick Dewayne Williams, 23, and Mohamed Sead Hussain, 29.

East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings didn't mention Bottoms' facial tattoos as she questioned the first panel of 14 potential jurors, but when it was time for Bottoms' attorney to question the panel, he wasted no time bringing up the topic.

"That's the first thing you see with him," lawyer Jarvis Antwine told the group.

Antwine explained that he's looking for jurors who won't prejudge his client. The overwhelming majority of the panel said they had no problem with Bottoms' tattoos.

"It's a personal choice," a male potential juror said.

A woman said she personally doesn't care for tattoos but would not judge Bottoms on that basis.

Both of those prospective jurors were among seven that were preliminarily chosen Monday.

Another female who said she had three tattoos was not selected.

Ad hoc Judge Bruce Bennett said he hopes to have a jury seated by Tuesday afternoon.

Bottoms faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty of second-degree murder.

The bodies of Williams and Hussain were found June 1, 2017, in the back seat of a car in the rural St. Helena Parish community of Grangeville. Each man had been shot in the head. Their bodies were covered by a sheet.

Bottoms' girlfriend at the time, Megan Marie Gaylord, is scheduled to testify for the prosecution.

Gaylord told investigators that she, Bottoms and the two men had used drugs, and that she was driving a car in which Bottoms and the men were riding when Bottoms — her front seat passenger — became paranoid and shot Williams and Hussain, who were sitting in the back seat.

The killings occurred on Plank Road between Baker and Zachary, she told authorities.

An arrest report says that after the men were shot, Gaylord drove to Bottoms’ residence, where he retrieved bleach to destroy fingerprints and evidence. Bottoms also retrieved a bed sheet later used to cover the bodies, the report states.

The car, with the bodies inside, was then driven to St. Helena and left there.

Gaylord, 29, of Greenwell Springs, was initially charged as an accessory in the homicide case, but the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office dropped the charge last year.

Bottoms' twin brother, Lawrence Bottoms, was fatally shot in April in Mississippi after he pulled a gun on Hancock County sheriff's deputies trying to serve a warrant on him out of East Baton Rouge Parish for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported.

Lawrence Bottoms was convicted in 2017 of the 2015 stabbing of a teenager with a screwdriver, Livingston Parish court records show. The charge he pleaded guilty to in the case was aggravated battery. The teen died months after the stabbing.

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.