Erica Jones

Jury Selected in Trial of Woman Charged in Grandmother's Slaying

A jury was seated Tuesday in the Frederick trial of a 20-year-old woman accused of fatally stabbing her grandmother just before Christmas 2014.

The jury of eight women and four men was seated Tuesday for the trial of Hestina Harris, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her grandmother, 67-year-old Lillie Morris.

Lawyers say they also expect to make opening statements Tuesday. 

On Dec. 22, 2014, Morris was found bleeding on the front lawn of the home near Burkittsville that she shared with her husband, Harris and Harris' 4-month-old daughter. Prosecutors said Morris was stabbed or cut 23 times with a kitchen knife.

She died while being rushed to a hospital.

Harris told police she saw a man in a ski mask running from the house. Investigators found blood on Harris' arms and clothing that she said came from her efforts to help her wounded grandmother.

Defense attorneys say that if Harris is convicted, they'll present evidence that mental illness makes her not criminally responsible.

Harris was found competent to stand trial in January 2015.

Morris had worked for Frederick County Public Schools for 29 years, most of it at her alma mater Brunswick High School, according to a message from the school.

Morris had graduated from the school in 1965. She later worked as an instructional assistant for the school's science teachers and then in agricultural science classes. Morris was also a cheerleading coach and adviser for the Minority Essence Club, according to BHS.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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