LARGO — A trial date was set Tuesday in the case against Charisse Stinson, the mother accused of leaving her 2-year-old son, Jordan Belliveau, for dead in the woods last summer.
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Michael Andrews designated March 2, 2020 as the beginning of trial.
Stinson, 22, faces charges of first-degree murder and making a false report to law enforcement.
According to police, Stinson fabricated a story about getting a ride from a man on Sept. 2 as she and Jordan were walking along Belcher Road and East Bay Drive in Largo. He knocked her unconscious, she told police. She said she awoke in Largo Central Park without her son.
The tale triggered an Amber Alert and a multi-day manhunt.
Jordan's body was found two days later in the woods, decomposing in several inches of water. His cause of death was blunt trauma, according to an autopsy, though it remains unclear if he was dead when he was left in the woods.
Stinson later admitted to striking Jordan, police said.
Prosecutor Paul Bolan told Andrews on Tuesday that he plans to call about 35 witnesses and expects the trial to take about two weeks. Stinson's attorney, Public Defender Allison Miller, cautioned it could take even longer, as the high-profile nature of the case could make it difficult to pick a jury. She said she would be asking for a change in venue, which would likely mean moving the trial out of the sixth judicial circuit, which comprises Pinellas and Pasco counties.
Family and friends of Jordan from his father's side sat in the front row of the gallery behind the prosecution's table. They wore shirts that honored the toddler. They declined to comment after the hearing.
Contact Josh Solomon at email@example.com or (813) 909-4613. Follow @ByJoshSolomon.