ORLANDO, Fla. – A jury was selected Monday in the case of two teenagers charged in the beating death of a 15-year-old boy in Winter Park.
Testimony continues Tuesday in the trial for Simeon Hall and Jesse Sutherland, both 16, who are charged as adults and face manslaughter charges in the 2016 death of Roger Trindade. The duo turned down a plea deal Friday offered by the state attorney's office.
Trindade was found unconscious on the night of Oct. 15, 2016, in the popular Winter Park shopping and dining area near Central Park. He later died after being taken off life support.
After the jury was seated, the prosecution started presenting opening statements. Attorneys for the state opened with a description of what took place the October 2016 evening when Trindade was killed.
The medical examiner’s findings revealed the teen died of blunt-force trauma.
The first witness called for the prosecution was Trindade's friend who was with him the night of the incident.
The investigation revealed that Trindade was with a male friend and two girls near Park Avenue when two boys, later identified as Hall and Sutherland, sprayed them with a foul-smelling spray. Trindade and his friend went to confront the boys, who told them the spray was meant to smell like "liquid a--" and they sprayed it as a prank, the report said.
"We wanted to know what was in the bottle," Trindade's friend said on the stand, explaining why they began to walk toward the group who sprayed Trindade with the substance.
The victim's parents are in court for the proceedings.
After Hall and Sutherland turned down the plea deal last week, Trindade's father, Rodrigo Trindade, said he and his wife were not happy.
"I think the trial is going to be painful on us because we are going to have to go through all those details again of his murder. So, of course, if that could have been avoided it would be less pain for us. But we will do anything that is needed," Rodrigo Trindade said.
The Orange Osceola State Attorney's Office offered the teens a deal that consisted of three years of time served followed by seven years of probation and included restitution to Trindade's family for medical and funeral expenses.
Another 15-year-old boy was also charged with witness tampering in the case. He was sentenced in February to a less restrictive detention program.
The trial is expected to take less than a week.