Jury selection begins for College Park woman accused of shooting boyfriend


Caryn Kelley

COLLEGE PARK, Fla. - In Orange County, jury selection started in the trial to determine the fate of a College Park woman accused of shooting her boyfriend to death.

Police said real estate agent Caryn Kelly killed Phillip Peatross in her home two years ago.

Inside an Orange County courtroom, Kelley sat stoically as the judge and attorneys worked to pick a jury.

"Mr. Peatross died of a gunshot wound to the side of the face," said Circuit Court Judge Heather Rodriguez.

It was a stark contrast to the Kelley on a police video moments after her boyfriend Peatross was shot to death inside Kelley's College Park home in 2011.

"I said, 'If you come back in the house you know I have a weapon. I'm going to use it,'" Kelley said on the video.

Investigators said she shot him during a drunken fight.

Kelley's attorney said she has said all along that Peatross grabbed the gun from her and shot himself.

Prosecutors recently reduced the charge from second-degree murder to manslaughter.

It's a case that has been covered extensively in the media.

While some jurors were dismissed for typical things like health problems or travel plans, the judge had a crucial question.

"We want to know if you have heard, read, or seen anything in the media related to this case," Rodriguez asked the potential jurors.

Many questions in jury selection Thursday focused on that issue. Several potential jurors said they had seen coverage of the case and even specifically cited this police video.

Most said they could put that aside and decide Kelley's fate based on the evidence presented in the courtroom.

One juror was dismissed because she said she couldn't put aside what she saw in the media.

Jury selection will continue Friday afternoon.  Testimony is expected to begin Monday, and the case should last until the end of the week.