Jury selection has begun in the trial of Eugene Dale, who faces a possible death sentence if convicted in the rape and murder of a 12-year-old West Baltimore girl.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys began to question prospective jurors earlier this week and were expected to continue today in the chambers of Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Elsbeth L. Bothe.
The potential jurors were being screened for knowledge of the October 1988 rape and murder of 12-year-old Andrea L. Perry, who was a student at Harlem Park Junior High School.
Perry's body was found in the yard of a house on West Baltimore Street with a bullet wound in the back of her head.
Dale, 33, is already serving a life prison term after being convicted of rape and handgun charges in an October 1988 assault on a 13-year-old girl who was his daughter's best friend.
More than a decade ago, Dale was sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempted rape and a handgun violation. He was paroled after serving eight years of that sentence.
Prosecutors Ilene J. Nathan and Donald J. Giblin will attempt to show that the DNA pattern of semen recovered from the Perry girl matched Dale's blood.
The state will also try to prove that Dale's .32-caliber revolver was the murder weapon.
According to court records, Dale told homicide detectives that two men who wanted to "scare somebody" had borrowed his gun the day Perry was killed. Dale told police that the men later returned the gun to him.
In motions filed in court, defense lawyer M. Cristina Gutierrez has raised questions about Dale's competence to stand trial.