TAMPA — Richard McTear Jr. made headlines last year when authorities accused him of attacking his former girlfriend and killing her 3-month-old son.
But before that incident, authorities say, he had battered the baby's teenage mother, Jasmine Bedwell, on other occasions.
McTear will go on trial for a March 31, 2009, battery case this week. He is also accused of committing violence against Bedwell's neighbor.
Jury selection began Monday morning.
His murder trial is set for August. A guilty finding in the battery case could be used as an aggravating factor by jurors weighing whether McTear should face the death penalty for the more serious charge.
Colleen Jenkins can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3337.