Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Murder trial begins for dad in daughter's death

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A jury was seated Monday in the Butler County trial of a man accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter.

        Christopher Fuller, 29, of Hamilton is charged with murder and felonious assault in the March 21 death of his daughter, Brandi.

        If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

        Today, the prosecution and defense will give opening statements, and the jury will visit Mr. Fuller's Sycamore Street apartment, the site of the alleged assault.

        The apartment is a few blocks from the Government Services Center, where the trial is being held.

        Mr. Fuller will be tried later on two counts of rape and attempted rape in the same case. Common Pleas Judge Matthew Crehan ruled that including these charges in the current trial could prejudice the jury against him.

        Police say Mr. Fuller at first denied having anything to do with Brandi's death.

        But after questioning, he admitted striking her twice in the chest after she resisted his attempt to sexually assault her, police said. He also admitted sexually assaulting her on two previous occasions, police said.

        Brandi died from blows to her chest, authorities have said. She had a ruptured stomach, bruises on her chest and jaw and scrapes on her nose, the coroner's report said.

        At a court hearing last week, Mr. Fuller recanted his statements, saying he told police what they wanted to hear so they would leave him alone.


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