Detroit girl slaying trial starts
Detroit — A new jury trial started Monday for a 23-year-old Detroit man charged in connection with the abduction, rape and slaying of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old niece.
Jurors were being selected Monday afternoon in Wayne County Circuit Court for the second trial of Darnell Cheatham.
Cheatham is charged with first-degree murder, torture, arson and other crimes in the death of Mariah Smith. Her burned remains were found in a vacant house in 2011.
A judge declared a mistrial in late July after a jury deadlocked during deliberations. Defense lawyer Kareem Johnson has said Cheatham maintains his innocence.
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