- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Trial is set to begin for a West Virginia man accused by authorities of killing a 2-year-old boy he was babysitting and stuffing the body in a freezer.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports (https://bit.ly/2gYpADB) that 24-year-old Jarrel Stricklen’s trial opens Monday with jury selection in Kanawha County Circuit Court. He’s charged with first-degree murder in Gavin Aldridge’s May 2015 death.

Stricklen first told police the child drowned in a bathtub. But investigators said they concluded the death was caused by physical assault and suffocation.

The Gazette said defense attorney Troy Giatras has called the murder charge “an overreach.”

Shortly after Stricklen’s arrest, Giatras questioned why the child was left in his client’s care. Giatras has said Stricklen wasn’t a paid baby sitter and didn’t really know the boy’s mother.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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