Fort Bliss Soldier Charged With Murder

El Paso – A jury has been selected in the trial of a one-time Fort Bliss soldier charged with capital murder in the death of a toddler he and his wife were taking care of.

Nakia Jonathan Dawkins and his wife were arrested last year after a 2-year-old girl in their custody died from severe internal injuries.

A pathologist determined that Milanya Harris was severely beaten and had bruises over 40 percent of her body. She also had nine tumor-like blood clots in her brain, according to an autopsy.

Dawkins, who was an Army staff sergeant when he was arrested, has pleaded not guilty. Opening arguments are scheduled for tomorrow morning.

His attorney Theresa Caballero told the El Paso Times that her client is innocent and they plan to fight the charges.

His wife, Shawntrell Dawkins, is scheduled to stand trial in December.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.