Prosecutors called their first witness Wednesday in the Bay County Boot Camp trial. The 8 defendants could face a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted.
The 8 defendants are charged with aggravated manslaughter of a person under 18. Special prosecutors will argue that Martin Lee Anderson died of suffocation.
Pam Bondi of Tampa is the state prosecutor.
“Martin Anderson died from lack of oxygen. Oxygen deprivation. This was no accident. This was a child who was killed.”
That’s a position consistent with the Hillsborough County medical examiner’s autopsy.
The first autopsy from the Bay County Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Siebery found that Anderson died from complications from sickle cell trait, a genetic blood disorder that the defense argues boot camp workers did not know about.
One by one, each of the 8 defense attorneys, like Ashley Benedict, made that point .
“What you didn’t see on that video that the state showed is that he’s talking. She takes out her stethoscope. He’s able to communicate.”
Protestors from the Tallahassee Youth Chapter of the NAACP gathered outside the Juvenile Justice Courthouse on east 11th Street where the infamous trial is being held.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Anderson’s family, once again called into question the makeup of the jury. No blacks among the 6 jurors and 4 alternates.
“They have themselves convinced that every black person with sickle cell is going to pass out and die. I wish they had a black juror.”
Prosecutors called their first witness this afternoon. The 8 defendants could face a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted.
The trial is expected to last 8 days.