Lionel Francis set to go on trial Monday in the fatal shooting of 20-month-old daughter

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A Huntsville man is set to go on trial Monday for capital murder in the May 2016 killing of his 20-month-old daughter.

Lionel Francis and Ashley Ross were the parents of Alexandria Francis.

Ashley Ross told WHNT News 19 after the shooting that Lionel Francis was never abusive to her or their daughter.

Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit said that during Francis’ preliminary hearing police investigators found the shooting followed an argument between the couple at their home on Lockwood Court.

“As a result of that fight, or maybe for some other reason,” Douthit said. “He essentially went into the bedroom, took the gun, cocked it, pointed it at his daughter’s head and pulled the trigger.

Francis waited for police at the scene. He told investigators it was an accident. He is represented by Huntsville attorney Bruce Gardner.

The state of Alabama wants the ultimate punishment.

“We are seeking the death penalty in this case,” Douthit said.

The jury panel will include about 80 people.

Douthit said the jury pool will get a lengthy questionnaire. He expects it may take into Wednesday before a jury is finalized.

Shortly after the shooting Ross also told WHNT News 19 that Lionel Francis was an active, devoted father.

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