Jury selection to begin for second McTear trial - FOX 13 News

Jury selection to begin for second McTear trial

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Photo of McTear during his previous trial Photo of McTear during his previous trial
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The trial for the man accused of throwing his girlfriend's infant son out a car window began again Monday morning.

Emmanuel Murray only lived three months before prosecutors say he was kidnapped by his mother’s boyfriend Richard McTear and thrown out the car window on Interstate 275.

That horrific day happened five years ago, but potential jurors still remember it.

"If I'm not mistaken this is the case where he kidnapped a child took him on 275 and threw him out of the window,” one potential juror said.

This is the second trial for McTear.

The first one ended in a mistrial last year -- on the first day of testimony -- when the baby’s mother, Jasmine Bedwell, said something on the stand she wasn't supposed to.

"He wanted to come over and I told him no," she said. "He told me he was going to come over and shoot my baby in the face, and [urinate] on him and in his face and he was going to kill both of us."

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge William said Bedwell violated a court order after finding out the phone call was from an incident unrelated to the night baby Emanuel was killed.

"Mr. McTear had two separate cases he had been charged in. One occurred in March; the death of this baby occurred in May," Julie Holt of the public defender's office explained. "The statements that Ms. Bedwell introduced for the May trial occurred in March," Holt added." Mr. McTear was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, and therefore, those statements were not relevant - and not properly admissible in this particular case."

McTear is charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say he attacked Bedwell, his then girlfriend, and threw her baby across the room in May 2009. He then drove off with the child and threw him out of the window on I-275 near Fowler Avenue, prosecutors say.

During jury selection, some jurors who knew about the case had already made up their minds.

"In all honesty your honor, I would have to say yes," the potential juror said.

The defense says there is no evidence the baby was thrown out of a car window, and McTear has pleaded not guilty.

But finding a fair and impartial jury on this case could be a tall order.

"Sir, I have two grandchildren and the more I think about it and the more I think about it, I would have a problem with it," another potential juror said.

If found guilty, McTear faces the death penalty. The trial is expected to take three weeks.

--Additional reporting from Alcides Segui/FOX 13 News.

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