Trial is set to begin Monday (Sept. 16) in the case of James Embre, accused of killing a two-year-old boy on April 17. Embre faces charges of felony murder, first-degree cruelty to children and second-degree cruelty to children for his alleged role in the death of Aceyson Aizim Ahmad in the 3400 block of A Street, SE, D.C., according to a D.C. Witness report.
According to court documents, Embre, after picking the child up from daycare, went into Ahmad’s bedroom, which the child shared with his older sister.
Embre, 26, told the girl to leave the room and then began beating Ahmad until he vomited, according to the documents. The child was unconscious when he arrived at a local hospital.
Ahmad’s sister told police that she saw Embre hit Ahmad after she was told to leave the room. She also said that Embre had hit both of them multiple times in the past. Court documents indicate that Embre was involved in a romantic relationship with Ahmad’s mother,
During jury selection, which took place on Sept. 11, a large part of the vetting of jurors dealt with their potential biases towards mental health issues.
On Sept. 9, a prosecutor and defense attorneys discussed possible limitations for selecting members of the jury pool with DC Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna. All parties agreed that since there would be multiple witnesses with mental health complications on the stand, jurors should not have an existing bias on mental illness.
Johnathan Zucker, Embre’s defense attorney said he did not care if the jurors knew the witnesses suffered from mental illnesses. Instead, Zucker said he wants the jurors to be able to accept the witnesses’ testimonies without bias.
D.C. Witness is a non-profit that was founded in 2015 to provide information on every homicide in the District from the act to its judicial resolution. The organization informs residents and policymakers in the District of Columbia about the trail of murders that often go underreported.