Jury selection to begin in retrial for Pee Dee man convicted in 3-year-old girl’s death

Jury selection to begin in retrial for Pee Dee man convicted in 3-year-old girl’s death
Mike Huckabee's retrial in the death of three-year-old Edna Hunt is expected to start on Monday. (Source: VineLink/Edna's Family)

MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A man who was once convicted of killing a three-year-old girl in Marlboro County will be back in a courtroom on Monday.

Solicitor Will Rogers confirmed that jury selection in Mike Huckabee’s retrial will begin Monday morning at the Marlboro County Courthouse.

Huckabee was found guilty in 2013 of homicide by child abuse in three-year-old Edna Hunt’s death. He was also convicted of criminal sexual conducted with a minor, inflicting great bodily injury upon a child and unlawful conduct toward a child. A judge sentenced him to two life sentences.

Huckabee filed an appeal in October 2016, seeking a review of his convictions.

In the appeal, his defense attorney argued that police did not “re-Mirandize” him after a three-day lapse after his previous interrogation and that the interrogation was given under coerced conditions.

The appeal also argued that an expert witness in the case was unqualified and gave testimony that was based on unreliable methodology.

The court of appeals reversed Huckabee’s convictions for homicide by child abuse, first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, inflicting great bodily injury upon a child and ordered a new trial. The appeals court did uphold Huckabee’s conviction for unlawful conduct toward a child.

The three-year-old died in October 2011 after her mother took her to the emergency room for an apparent cardiac arrest. Bennettsville police officers were called to the hospital and said that the little girl suffered bruising along her body and burns were found in her genital area.

The Marlboro County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a homicide after autopsy results came back.

The little girl’s mother, Atelia Hunt, pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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