It took four day to pick a jury and the trial is expected to last as long as two weeks.
Monday morning opening arguments will be heard in the first-degree murder trial of Delmer Smith III. On Thursday both sides of the case agreed on a panel of 15 – 12 jurors and three alternates.
Smith, 41, is charged with beating Kathleen Briles to death with an antique sewing machine on August 3, 2009. The victim's husband, Dr. James Briles, found her in their Terra Ceia home when he returned from work.
The convicted felon could be facing the death penalty if he's convicted of this brutal crime. Smith was arrested several months after the crime after investigators tied him to several items taken from the home on the day Briles was killed.
Smith is already serving a life sentence following his conviction last year in Sarasota County on home invasion charges.
In addition to the Briles case Smith is also charged in three Sarasota County home invasion/robberies and one Manatee County home invasion/robbery.
In each incident investigators say the suspect targeted older women and wore dark clothing and a mask. Smith allegedly committed these crimes to support a drug habit.
Florida's death row currently houses more than 400 inmates awaiting execution. Two of those men are from Manatee County.
Melvin Trotter, 51, was convicted of fatally stabbing a Palmetto grocery store clerk to death in June 1986.
Daniel Burns Jr. was sentenced to death in 1988 for shooting to death Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey Young. Court records indicate Burns Jr., 67, shot Young with his own revolver following a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in August 1987.
The trial will take place in courtroom 5-A at the Manatee County Judicial Center in Bradenton with Judge Peter Dubensky presiding.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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