Jury selection starts Tuesday in Abuelazam trial - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Jury selection starts Tuesday in Abuelazam trial

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(04/30/12) - Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the first murder trial for suspected serial stabber Elias Abuelazam.

Abuelazam, now 35, is charged in nine Genesee County attacks dating back to spring and summer of 2010.

He is charged in three murders and six assaults.

The first trial centers around the final Genesee County victim, Arnold Minor of Flint.

"He was a friendly person. Always smiling," said Stephanie Ward, Minor's sister, in an interview with ABC12 just days after his murder on April 2, 2010.

He was stabbed and left for dead on South Saginaw in Flint. He was 49.

"He was walking home. That's the last I saw him and the next thing I hear?"

Police had gone public, connecting several stabbing attacks.

A task force was formed.

The public was asked to be aware of a man pretending to need help.

All but one of the victims were African-American men.   

"I believe he'll be caught. I just believe," Ward said.

Less than one week after that interview, Abuelazam was arrested at an airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

Later that month, Abuelazam was brought back to Michigan.

He was charged in several cases, including Minor's.

Minor's family attended every court hearing.

They even brought his ashes with them.

"As we're going to be here we're going to have him present with us too," said Ward in December of 2010.

Prosecutors then presented DNA evidence.

According to state experts, Minor's blood was found on Abuelazam's shoes and jeans.

Both of those items were in his luggage when arrested.

Experts also testified Minor's blood was found in the SUV they know Abuelazam was driving.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton declined to comment ahead of jury selection.

One of Abuelazam's defense attorney's, Brian Morley, says they're ready to go noting this trial is going to be a task for everybody involved.

Abuelazam's defense team had previously filed a "notice of insanity defense."

It's unclear whether they will try and use that defense at trial.

The focus, for both side, remains on getting a jury seated.

 There has been extensive media coverage.

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