Jury selection underway for man accused of killing 16-year-old stepdaughter

Sanel Saint Simon is accused of killing his stepdaughter Alexandria Chery, deputies said.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Jury selection is underway for the Orange County man accused of beating his stepdaughter to death.

Alexandria Chery was found dumped along the road in the Polk-Osceola County line in July 2014. Sanel Saint Simon was arrested shortly after her death.

Chery’s mother came home the day her daughter disappeared to find a blood-stained teddy bear in the girl’s room and the smell of bleach.

Court documents revealed in October 2014 said Saint Simon wanted it to look like Chery ran away from home. Saint Simon suggested to authorities that Chery might have moved in with some friends, but investigators said that was a lie.

Investigators said Saint Simon borrowed his cousin’s car and parked it near his job the day before Chery’s disappearance in August.

The investigation alleges Saint Simon lied to detectives about leaving work early the day Chery was last seen, and he was heard speaking in Creole to a family member and asking them to lie to investigators about borrowing the car.

Evidence revealed in 2014 showed Saint Simon’s and Chery’s cellphones were in the same location hours before her mother reported her missing.

Through interviews with Chery’s best friend and boyfriend, investigators learned she told them Saint Simon had done something to her she didn’t like and made her uncomfortable, but the exact details of what happened are redacted from the paperwork.

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Opening statements could begin Monday.

Saint Simon could face the death penalty if he’s found guilty of first-degree murder, prosecutors said.

State Attorney Brad King is prosecuting the case after Gov. Rick Scott removed the case from Orange-Osceola County State Attorney Aramis Ayala. She announced shortly after being elected into office that her office would not seek the death penalty in first-degree murder cases.