TAMPA -- The man accused of throwing an infant from a moving car on Interstate 275 will be retried this week.
Richard McTear, 25, is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and other offenses in the 2009 death of Emanuel Murray Jr., a 3-month-old infant who was found dead by the side of the interstate near Fowler Avenue. Jury selection in his second trial starts today at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.
The first trial went awry one day into testimony when the baby's mother, Jasmine Bedwell, tearfully accused McTear of threatening to shoot the baby in the face and urinate on him.
The testimony had previously been ruled inadmissible by Circuit Judge William Fuente because it related to earlier charges of which McTear was acquitted. So Fuente declared the mistrial, wasting the five days the court spent selecting a jury.
The new trial comes nearly a year later. Prosecutors maintain McTear attacked Bedwell, his then-girlfriend, and threw her baby across the room in May 2009. He then drove off with the infant and threw him out of the window on I-275 near Fowler Avenue.
McTear has pleaded not guilty, his attorneys saying there's no proof the baby was thrown from the car. They say McTear went to his girlfriend's apartment in March 2009 to pick up his clothes, not beat her and take the baby.
If convicted, McTear could face the death penalty.