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Judge denies defense motion ahead of toddler's murder trial

Henry Hayes accused in 2016 drive-by shooting death of Aiden McClendon

Henry Hayes enters courtroom for arraignment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Duval County judge denied a motion for a jury questionnaire Thursday before the trial of a Jacksonville man charged with murdering a toddler begins.

The motion was put in place by the attorney of Henry Hayes. Both Hayes and Kquame Richardson are scheduled to go to trial June 25 for the death of 22-month-old Aiden McClendon. A final pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 18.

Hayes' defense wanted the questionnaire to ensure a potential juror was not biased regarding the nature of the case and has not seen media reports.

In January 2016, Aiden was shot three times in a car while sitting with his mother and grandmother in what police said was a gang-related drive-by shooting.

As the murder trial approaches, the toddler's grandmother told News4Jax the family is hoping it soon has justice.

The trial is expected to take about two weeks. There will be two juries and heavy security. There is still a defense motion to close the court during the testimony of some witnesses, who have been threatened.

Hayes and Richardson face life in prison with the possibility of parole.


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