Jury seated in 2nd 'Baby Grace' trial

October 27, 2009 2:17:24 PM PDT
On Tuesday afternoon, the jury was selected for the second 'Baby Grace' trial. That was the nickname given to two-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers, whose body was found stuffed in a plastic container in Galveston Bay two years ago. Prosecutors say she was killed by her mother and stepfather as they were trying to discipline her.

Royce Clyde Zeigler, Jr., somberly watched as jury selection got underway at the Galveston County courthouse Tuesday. If he's convicted in the capital murder of Riley Ann Sawyers, he will spend life in prison. Twenty-two jurors in the pool of 179 people were dismissed before lunchtime. Tuesday afternoon, those remaining were whittled down to 12 jurors and 2 alternates.

The defense is expected to argue that Ziegler had no intentional part in the Baby Grace murder, asking potential jurors if they believed taking part in a cover-up was evidence of intentionally taking part in the crime.

The defense also asked potential jurors to commit to making logical decisions instead of emotional ones.

The body of Riley Sawyers was found floating in a container in Galveston Bay two years ago. The toddler had been beaten to death in a daylong disciplinary session, suffering skull fractures among her massive injuries. She was identified only as Baby Grace until family in Ohio recognized a sketch.

The little girl's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, was convicted in the death February 2 and is serving life in prison without parole.

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