One jury member was unable to continue sitting due to personal problems and judge Lord Pentland dismissed the jury, which was empanelled on Monday at the High Court in Glasgow. A new jury is expected to be picked today.
David Parker, 37, Paul Smith, 47, Philip Wade, 42, and Colin Coats, 42, are alleged to have severed the tip of one of Lynda Spence's fingers, cut off her thumb and cut off and crushed her toes with loppers at a flat in West Kilbride between April 14 and 28, 2011. She was reported missing in May 2011.
It is claimed they killed Miss Spence, 27, on April 28, 2011, after torturing her to obtain financial information, then cut off her head and disposed of her body.
All four deny the charges against them. The trial is expected to last 11 weeks.