Jury selection begins Monday in Bradenton in the murder trial of Delmer Smith III.
The 41-year-old violent felon is charged in the 2009 killing of Kathleen Briles, the wife of a well-known Manatee County physician.
In addition to the murder charge Smith is also facing home invasion/robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary charges.
Investigators say the suspect broke into the home of Dr. James Briles and his wife on August 3, 2009. Mrs. Briles was bludgeoned to death with an antique sewing machine.
Last week Manatee County Circuit Court Judge Peter Dubensky denied a motion to postpone the trial. Jury selection is expected to last between five and seven days due to the publicity the case has received.
Smith, who has spent a large majority of his adult life behind bars, was charged with the Briles killing in February 2010. At the time he was in the Sarasota County Jail facing home invasion charges.
Detectives working the murder case allegedly found the suspect in possession of several items taken from the Briles residence on the day of her murder. One of the items is a rare Minnie Mouse keychain that Dr. Briles gave his wife as a wedding anniversary gift.
Smith is already serving a life sentence after he was convicted last year in Sarasota County on a home invasion charge. He is also facing similar charges in three other Sarasota cases and one Manatee case.
Detectives say in all of the crimes Smith is charged he targeted older females, wore dark-colored clothes and a mask.
It is not yet known if prosecutors will seek the death penalty.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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