Trial begins for Georgia woman accused of starving, burning stepdaughter
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Jury selection will continue Tuesday in the murder trial of a Gwinnett County woman accused of feeling hurt stepdaughter through a slow and agonizing starvation.
In 2013, Gwinnett County investigators found the charred body of 10-year-old Emani Moss stuffed inside at an apartment complex. Investigators say the girl weighed only 32 pounds at the time of her death.
Investigators say Emani's stepmother, Tiffany Moss, and her dad, Eman Moss, are responsible for her brutal death.
In 2015, Eman Moss pleaded guilty to felony murder and cruelty to children, saying that he had made a "terrible mistake." He's now serving life without parole and is slated to testify against is estranged wife.
In 2015, Moss' attorney says the father chose not to take Emani to the hospital in the weeks before she died because Tiffany had previously been arrested for beating Emani. His lawyer also claimed he was unaware of the abuse and starvation Emani endured-- claiming Tiffany was responsible for taking care of his daughter while he was at work.
Moss was relatively quiet during the first day of jury selection at the Gwinnett County Courthouse, but did ask a few jurors about their ability to be impartial given the gruesome evidence jurors will hear in the case.
District Attorney Danny Porter and Judge George Hutchinson questioned every juror about their ability to impartially hear the evidence and potentially render a death sentence if Moss is convicted.
MORE: Father of Emani Moss sentenced for her murder
Tiffany Moss' trial was scheduled for July of last year but was postponed while two lawyers from the state's public defender system appealed to try to overturn a lower court's decision allowing Moss to represent herself.
The Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, which means Moss will be able to act as her own lawyer.
If she is found guilty, it will be the first death sentence in the state of Georgia in more than five years. Judge Hutchinson indicated jury selection would take the rest of the week, with opening statements from prosecutors and the murder defendant next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.