ORLANDO, Fla. — A jury will soon decide whether to recommend death or life imprisonment without parole for convicted killer, Sanel St. Simon.
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Jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder and child abuse for killing 16-year-old Alexandria Chery.
She was last seen Monday, July 28, 2014, and her body was found Aug. 1, 2014, in a wooded area of Reunion, which is in Osceola County.
Investigators said Saint Simon planned to kill Chery days before her death and staged the scene to look like she had run away.
To decide the penalty for the crime of first-degree murder, both the defense and prosecution presented more witnesses who spoke about Chery, Saint Simon’s character, his life, and the crime.
“For four years, all I do is cry. My life has been changed forever," said an interpreter on behalf of Rosalie Chery, Alexandria's mother. "Alex was a respectful girl. I miss her so much. She will always be my baby girl. God bless, and God be with her."
"By the grace of God, I had a sister that embodied love and youthfulness,” said Fanzo Chery, Alexandria's brother.
The prosecution asked Fanzo, as well as Alexandria's ex-boyfriend, to speak about the last months of Alexandria’s life and how she told them that Saint Simon was inappropriately touching her.
"She said she had to fight him off,” said Damian Thomas, Alexandria's ex-boyfriend.
The defense countered these questions by asking Thomas why he didn’t report the abuse to an authority figure or even his own mother.
“I didn’t tell her because my mom barely knew about our relationship. Like, my mom doesn’t know about any of my relationships," Thomas said.
Saint Simon listened to all of this with little reaction.
After the prosecution rested, Saint Simon's defense team called witnesses to speak on his behalf.
“Respectful, doesn’t cause any problem, good rapport with peers," said Alphanso McKenzie, Correction Officer with Orange County Jail.
The defense also showed taped recordings from Saint Simon’s family in Haiti. The recordings were also done through an interpreter.
Saint Simon's son Zachary Saint Simon spoke about his regular phone conversations with his father and why they were important to him.
"He would always give advice that life is not easy. He would always tell us these things," Zachary said.
Saint Simon faces several charges, including first-degree capital murder.
Tuesday sentencing hearing will resume at 1 p.m. with Judge Marshall Kest.