Jury selection Monday in baby death trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Jury selection will begin Monday for a Brunswick man charged with killing a 17-month-old girl while baby-sitting her last year.

Testimony, however, won’t begin until Dec. 13 in Daryl Keon Jones’ trial. Jones, 33, is charged with murder and felony cruelty to children in the death of Brianna Kichelle Hester.  

Brianna died while hospitalized with severe head injuries on May 1, 2009. She was the daughter of Kim Hester, who at the time was Jones’ live-in girlfriend.

When Brianna died, she and her mother lived with Jones and his three children, then 3, 5 and 8, at his Lantana Court home. Jones was home alone with all four children when Brianna suffered fatal head injuries, Glynn County police have said.

None of Jones’ children were injured. Kim Hester was in Jacksonville, where she was a nursing student.

Jones faces life in prison if found guilty of murder. His trial has been postponed a half-dozen times for various legal reasons since his arrest May 4, 2009. 

On Thursday, prosecutors said that they and Jones’ lawyer, James Yancey Jr., are ready for the trial to get under way. Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison will preside over the case.

Jones was jailed for nearly 16 months before his release Sept. 7 on $25,000 bail. Harrison granted the bail after determining Jones’ deteriorating health made it impractical to continue housing him at the Glynn County Detention Center.

Jones had kidney dialysis three times a week while jailed. By law, the county had to pay for Jones’ medical care while he was jailed.

Harrison imposed a series of conditions on Jones’ release, including ordering him to wear a real-time monitoring ankle bracelet that has a global positioning system device.

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