TAMPA - After four years of legal wrangling and a weeks worth of jury selection, accused baby killer Richard McTear came into courtroom 51, ready to face his accusers. But the jury was dismissed after a key witness violated a pretrial agreement on the stand Monday.
Prosecutors have waited a long time to get 25-year-old McTear to trial.
"Because the state is going to provide evidence to you that this man is a murderer. That on May 5, 2009, Richard McTear murdered Emanuel Murray, who was an infant at the time, less than four-months-old," Prosecutor Ronald Gale said.
But the case is much more complicated than that. The defense managed to get a lot of potential inflammatory wording and statements excluded from the trial in a pre-trial agreement.
Defense Attorney Michael Peacock admitted that it would be confusing.
"Much of the testimony will be in conflict, and this is especially true with the testimony of Jasmine Bedwell, and it will be your job to decide what testimony you can and what you cannot believe," he said.
And after a couple of groundwork laying witnesses testified, the grieving mother of Emmanuel Murray, Jasmine Bedwell, ended up breaking the pre-trial agreement with these words.
"He told me he was going to shoot my baby in the face...and he was gonna kill both of us."
At that point, the judge dismissed the jury, sending them home as he listened to prosecutors and defense attorneys battle the motion for a mistrial.
Stay with ABC Action News and abcactionnews.com for the latest details in this developing story.