WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A jury was seated Monday within the trial of a Jupiter man who’s accused of locking his adopted son in a box-like construction for hours at a time.
Tim Ferriter, 48, and his spouse, Tracy Ferriter, 47, are charged with aggravated little one abuse, false imprisonment and an added depend of kid neglect.
The Ferriters, who reside within the upscale Jupiter neighborhood of Egret Touchdown, have been arrested in February 2022.
Jupiter police stated the couple stored their teenage adopted son in an 8×8 field of their storage.
Police stated the field had a mattress, digicam and bucket that was used as a restroom, and the boy was solely allowed out to go to highschool. The couple was finally arrested when the boy — then 14 — ran away.
Tim and Tracy Ferriter are being tried individually, beginning with the daddy’s trial.
Decide Howard Coates is permitting cameras within the courtroom for the high-profile case that has gained nationwide consideration.
Jury choice started Friday with a pool of 100 potential jurors. By the conclusion of Friday’s jury choice, six potential jurors expressed concern about being photographed or recorded. They got a questionnaire and despatched house.
Throughout Monday’s jury choice, Assistant State Lawyer Brianna Coakley was questioning potential jurors about their ideas starting from the variety of witnesses that the state may name to testify to whether or not they imagine the state ought to become involved in how mother and father elevate their kids.
Protection lawyer Prya Murad later questioned potential jurors about whether or not they’d move judgment on Ferriter if he did not testify within the trial.
“Is there anyone who would really feel, ‘You realize what, if he was harmless, he would stand up there and testify?'” Murad requested.
She additionally requested if anybody from the potential jury pool had been adopted or attended Catholic faculty. Tracy Ferriter as soon as labored as a college aide at All Saints Catholic Faculty in Jupiter from 2014 to 2017.
Three potential jurors — none of whom have kids — stated they did not imagine corporal punishment is an acceptable type of punishment for a guardian.
One other potential juror stated she would by no means spank her little one. Another person who stated she was within the technique of adopting her niece stated she was spanked as a baby and is towards it, whereas one other stated she had been spanked by a picket spoon when she was youthful.
One mom of 5 who stated she “by no means discovered it mandatory” to “be violent” as a type of self-discipline recalled kids being paddled in public faculties whereas rising up in Plantation.
A mom of two stated she did not assume there was something improper with spanking till she grew to become a guardian. She stated she would not do it in her house, but it surely would not make her uncomfortable.
“I’ve associates that spank their children,” she stated. “They do not spank them to the purpose that they are bleeding or, you recognize, they can not sit or, you recognize, there’s bruises on their physique.”
In a pretrial listening to final week, Tim Ferriter rejected a plea deal by the state that might have resulted in 24 months in jail and 5 years of probation. He now faces 40 years and presumably extra.
Murad contends the kid was “a medically advanced little one” and the alleged field was “a room” used for monitoring.
The protection intends to point out a sample of troubled conduct, which on the onset of the case confirmed “harmful and disturbing propensities,” together with attachment problems.
WPTV authorized analyst Michelle Suskauer stated the trial might be extra advanced than it appears on the floor.
“What we have learn is a one-sided presentation of proof,” Suskauer stated. “It is the possible trigger affidavit that is written by legislation enforcement and witness statements, and so there’s all the time extra to the story.”
Suskauer stated it is a “difficult” case for protection attorneys.
“Circumstances involving kids as victims are very difficult to defend,” Suskauer stated.
Six jurors have been seated Monday afternoon, with opening statements to start Tuesday.