Saturday, February 24, 2018
Public safety

Star witness in McTear baby-killing trial arrested on battery charge

TAMPA — Jasmine Bedwell, the state's star witness in the high-profile murder trial of Richard McTear, was arrested Monday morning in Tampa on a domestic battery charge.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were called at 9 a.m. to Bedwell's home at 1413 E 139th Ave., an arrest report said. When they arrived, they found Bedwell, 23, arguing with Emanuel Murray Sr., her boyfriend, with whom she shares three children.

During the argument, Murray, 27, tried to walk out the front door of Bedwell's apartment. Deputies said they then saw Bedwell grab him by the back of his shirt and slap him on the head and back.

She was later booked into the county jail and held without bail on the misdemeanor charge.

Bedwell and Murray have lived together for about 2 ½ years, the report said. Emanuel Murray Jr., their infant son, died five years ago at the hands of McTear, Bedwell's boyfriend at the time.

A jury convicted McTear last month of savagely beating Bedwell and throwing the baby to his death on the side of Interstate 275. Murray Sr. was in prison on gun charges when the murder happened.

Bedwell provided key testimony against McTear at his trial. Defense attorneys tried to discredit her, asserting that she had a reputation for "violence and dishonesty" and proposing that she was a suspect in the case.

McTear, 26, was sentenced this month to life in prison.

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