ATHENS, Tenn. - Potentional jurors are being questioned individually in the McMinn County trial of a father charged with raping and murdering his 14-month-old daughter in 2003.

McMinn Circuit Court Judge Carroll Ross told potential jurors and members of the audience that he expects the trial to take about four days, based on prosecutors' estimates of two days to present their case.

"But I have no way to measure certain things, such as jury deliberation time," Judge Ross said.

At the noon break, fewer than half the pool of 50 jurors had been selected. When that pool is complete, additional questions will be asked to select the jury and alternates in the case.

Angel Mae Delashmitt was found in a pond at the family home. Mitchell Delashmitt told police at the time that he had been asleep while he was supposed to be babysitting the child while her mother, Rebecca Dunn Green, was at work.

He later confessed and charged with felony murder, aggravated child abuse and rape of a child.

In 2007, Judge Ross threw out his confession on the grounds that prosecutors ignored Mr. Delashmitt's request for an attorney. His bond was reduced from $100,000 to $15,000. He has remained free on bond.

The medical examiner's report also became a factor in the trial.

Former Bradley County Medical Examiner Ron Toolsie's autopsy report is disputed by the defense.

Mr. Toolsie's's medical license was suspended by the state of Tennessee last year after an investigation into malpractice allegations related to the Delashmitt case.

Judge Ross told jurors that some of the "significant witnesses" may include Mr. Toolsie. The child's mother, Rebecca Dunn Green, is also listed as a witness.

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