• Sanel Saint Simon trial: Blood found on suspect matches victim, experts say

    By: Jason Kelly , Field Sutton


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Testimony wrapped up Friday in the murder trial of an Orange County man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's daughter in 2014.

    Sanel Saint Simon is accused of killing Alexandria Chery, 16. Her body was discovered in July 2014 along a road near the Osceola-Polk county line.

    A DNA expert testified Friday that all the blood inside Saint Simon's apartment and on his pants belonged to Chery.

    Chery's blood was also found under her mattress, on her teddy bear, his bedroom carpet and his bathroom counter, and in a Black Pontiac, the expert testified.

    Saint Simon’s uncle, Charles Saint Simon, testified Thursday about the black Pontiac his nephew is suspected of driving the day of Chery's disappearance.

    Read: Saint Simon's uncle: 'He asked to borrow the car

    Traffic cameras recorded video in 2014 of Saint Simon abruptly leaving the Boston Market where he worked.

    The cameras also spotted the black Pontiac traveling toward Chery’s apartment, but the driver's identity is unknown.

    The defense said no one witnessed Saint Simon driving the car during that time.

    Read: Testimony begins in trial of Orange County man accused of killing girlfriend's daughter

    Orange County Sheriff's Office Detective Gina Adams returned to the stand Friday. She said there are no toll records or traffic camera footage showing the black Pontiac on Interstate 4 or State Road 429.

    A witness testified he saw a black Pontiac with its door wide open and no one inside near the woods where Chery's body was found.

    Dr. Jan Garavaglia, a former Orange County medical examiner, testified Friday that Chery's body was heavily decomposed when it was discovered.

    "Her head was skeletonized with only a small, firm, leatherized piece of tissue attached to the side," she said. "Clearly, there had to be some animal scavenging on that, because of the way the muscle is kind of shredded off."

    Read: Interrogation video shown to jury in Orange County teen slaying trial

    Garavaglia said she also believes someone injured Chery.

    "Scavenging also wouldn’t make that clear 1.5-inch defect that you can see in the breast tissue," she said. "There’s no marks in the arms. There’s no gnawing or any kind of marks we can see that would indicate scavenging."

    Defense attorneys argued some of Chery's injuries were caused by animals scavenging, rather than the killer.

    Garavaglia acknowledged some slight evidence of that; however, she said stabbing and beating wounds on Chery's body were clearly caused by another person.

    Chery's mother stepped outside the courtroom as jurors were shown autopsy photos.

    Read: Suspect accused of planning Orange County teen's death 3 days prior to her disappearance

    Two of Chery's friends testified Friday that Saint Simon developed a sexual interest in Chery.

    One described a FaceTime call with Chery while Saint Simon knocked on her bedroom door.

    "She was like, 'Stay on the phone because I'm scared,'" Aliyah Garrett said on the stand.

    Garrett and Dana St. Fleur could not hear the conversation, but testified Chery told them Saint Simon tried touching her breast.

    "She was like, 'He was trying to touch me. He was trying to touch me,'" Garrett said.

    The defense argued Saint Simon did not have a sexual interest in the teen.

    Usually "hearsay" is against the rules, but the judge allowed it in the courtroom.

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