Jury selection in child rape trial to start Dec. 12

Dec. 4—Jury selection is slated to begin Dec. 12 in the trial of an eastern Cumberland County man indicted on a charge of rape of a child that is alleged to have occurred in September 2020.

Barring any last second changes, testimony is to begin once a jury of 12 Cumberland Countians and additional alternates are seated to hear evidence in the case. The trial is anticipated to last two days and there is no indication the jury will be sequestered.

Criminal Court Judge Wesley Bray will preside over the case. Jimmy Harold Clark is being defended by Cookeville attorney Michael Giaimo. Prosecutors in the case will be Assistant District Attorneys Philip Hatch and Allison Null.

A hearing was held Friday centering around what would be admissible in court from written, oral and recorded statements of Clark. Prosecutors and the defense attorney found common ground on some issues and Bray issued evidentiary rulings on other issues.

Giaimo attacked specifics in the indictment relating to key elements of the charge but was unsuccessful in getting Bray to rule certain evidence was inadmissible.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt but a legal action that paves the way for jury review of accusations filed against a defendant.

Redaction on written and audio evidence will take place prior to the beginning of the trial.

A hearing date of Dec. 11 has been set for any last minute motion filings and to make sure the case is ready for presentation to the jury. Jurors are to report next Tuesday and the trial is expected to last two days.

Michael Moser may be reached at mmoser@crossville-chronicle.com

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