By Brian Lazenby
Lawyers today selected six men and eight women to hear the case against a Chattanooga man accused of raping and beating to death his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son.
Nicholas Todd Hilt, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and child rape in what police said was a period of abuse that lasted about three days and resulted in the death of Nathaniel Upshaw on Jan. 7, 2003.
According to an autopsy report, the child died from blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen.
Court officials said Mr. Hilt could be forced to watch his trial on a video monitor because of outbursts he made during previous court appearances.
Jurors will be sequestered throughout the trial, which is expected to last about a week.
Prosecutors are seeking life without the possibility of parole for Mr. Hilt.
The child’s mother, Altreasa Upshaw, is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect, providing false statements to police and being an accessory after the fact.
E-mail Brian Lazenby at email@example.com
See tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press for full coverage.