CONROE – The jury selection process began on Wednesday for the capital murder trial of a Rusk County man charged in the brutal beating death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter on Dec. 2, 2008 during what authorities say was an attempted exorcism by the couple.
Blaine Keith Milam, 20, of Henderson is charged with Capital Murder of a person under six years of age.
The child’s mother, 20-year-old Jessica Bain Carson, will be tried separately, charged with the same crime.
Officials say the couple called 911 around 10:30 a.m. that Tuesday morning, saying Amora Bain Carson was not breathing. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found the child dead, with evidence of blunt force trauma all over her body, accompanied by dozens of human bite marks.
Detectives later determined little Amora was beaten with a hammer.
Some news reports claimed the couple took tools to a pawn shop to try and get enough money to pay a priest to perform an exorcism on Amora, but were unsuccessful and decided to handle it themselves. Other reports stated the toddler was already dead when they tried to get the money to pay a professional to perform the task.
Some say if justice were done in a previous case, Milam would not have been around any child. According to court records, in August of 2008, less than four months before Amora’s murder, Milam was convicted of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault of a different child in the 4th District Court of Henderson. He was sentenced to five years confinement, but he was given a suspended sentence, which released him on probation instead of placing him behind bars. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry lists Milam as “high risk.”
Both Milam and Carson have remained in jail since their arrest in 2008.
District Judge Clay Gossett ordered a change of venue for Milam’s trial last year, citing too much publicity in the county where the crime occurred. Of the 1,500 potential jurors summoned in Montgomery County, 533 appeared on Wednesday, 109 were excused and by Thursday, 424 were qualified.
Gossett said most jurors excused because they had some knowledge or opinion of the case. Individual questioning of prospective jurors is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but the trial is not expected to begin until May.
Milam’s attorney, Rick Hagan, said he expects jury selection to take about two months. Hagan was appointed by a Justice of the Peace in Rusk County three days after the murder.
Hagan could say little more, since Gossett has issued a gag order for everyone involved in the case.
TO VIEW THE INTERVIEW WITH JUDGE GOSSSETT CLICK ARROW:
Below is a photo tribute to Amora posted on YouTube (turn up your volume)