MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – After two days, a jury including three alternates was seated late Tuesday in the Morgan County trial of Gary Lee Wilbourn of Lacey’s Spring.
Wilbourn, 41, is charged with a count of capital murder and a count of aggravated child abuse. He is accused of shaking his 4-month-old daughter Amy Jean Wilbourn causing brain damage that resulted in the infant’s death on Dec. 6, 2008.
Wilbourn’s first trial was supposed to start in February, but a judge declared a mistrial before testimony began because the defense and prosecution both had difficulties scheduling witnesses.
In opening statements, District Attorney Scott Anderson told jurors when Amy’s mother Barbara Keller returned home from her job at Ryan’s buffet in Huntsville on the night of alleged shaking event, she found daughter Amy struggling to breath and seizing with her eyes crossed.
Amy was eventually transferred to the pediatric ICU at Huntsville Hospital where she died days later from brain injuries, according to Anderson.
He said jurors will hear from pathologists and clinicians – doctors and nurses who cared for Amy – who will testify her death was the result of intentional head trauma from shaking.
Anderson said in a voluntary polygraph test, Wilbourn blurted, “Yeah I did it – I shook the piss out of her.”
In his opening statement defense attorney Jake Watson immediately countered saying, “One thing the evidence will certainly show is that Gary Wilbourn loved Amy, that Barbara loved her too and that no one in that family would intentionally harm that little girl.”
Watson mocked his courtroom counterpart in saying jurors would in fact not hear evidence to prove that Wilbourn admitted to “shaking the piss” out of his daughter.
“Fortunately, what Gary did say was recorded,” Watson assured.
The first full day of testimony in Gary Wilbourn’s murder trial will begin Wednesday.