Jury selection starts Monday for a man charged in connection to a death on Fort Rucker.
Doug Howard, a spokesperson for the Alabama U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an email lawyers were expected to select a jury in Dothan Monday for the felony manslaughter charge filed against 30-year-old Benjamin J. Schrad.
Howard said lawyers were expected to start the presentation of evidence in the trial at the federal courthouse in Montgomery on Tuesday.
Court records show federal agents arrested Schrad as part of a felony indictment, which charged him with the unlawful killing of a person only referred to in the indictment as “ES” on Aug. 1, 2011.
According to a previous Dothan Eagle report, an Emily "Emmy" Grace Noel Schrad, age 4, of Brantley, died on Aug. 4, 2011, at Children's Hospital in Birmingham after being airlifted from Medical Center Enterprise where she'd been admitted on Aug. 1 for a head injury.
The indictment also charged Schrad with felony involuntary manslaughter for the killing, which according to the indictment occurred during the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, but a third-degree assault.
According to an email from Bertha Moore, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, agents arrested Schrad in Nebraska in September 2013 on the felony involuntary manslaughter charge.
Moore said Schrad faces a possible sentence of eight years in federal prison three years supervised release and a fine of not more than $250,000 and restitution to the family of the victim, if convicted.
According to federal court records, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another person without malice. It becomes involuntary manslaughter if it’s unintentional, but happens while a person commits a crime, which isn’t a felony.
Records also show the government doesn't have to prove that the defendant intended to cause the victim's death.
But records show the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was more than just negligent or failed to use reasonable care. It must prove gross negligence to the amount of "wanton and reckless disregard for human life," which means the defendant acted unreasonably or maliciously and didn't care about the consequences.
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