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Jury selection starts in Kimberly Kessler murder trial

Kessler charged in death of Nassau County salon co-worker Joleen Cummings

Jury selection starts Monday for the Kimberly Kessler murder trial. Kessler is accused of killing her former co-worker, Joleen Cummings, in 2018.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Monday, 300 people will learn if they are selected as jurors in the Kimberly Kessler murder trial.

Jury selection started Monday morning in the Nassau County Courthouse in the murder trial for Kessler who is accused of killing the mother of 3 in 2018. Cummings was reported missing after she never showed up to pick up her children on Mother’s Day. Investigators believe Kessler is the last person to see Cummings alive at the Tangles Hair Salon where they both worked. Cummings body has never been found.

Attorney Gene Nichols is not affiliated with this case but anticipates jury selection to take at least one week.

“The reason is that we have seen in other high-profile cases, everybody in Nassau County is going to know this case. Everybody knows something about this case,” Nichols said.

Kessler was brought into the courtroom as proceedings began Monday around 8:30 a.m. but was promptly removed seconds later after she yelled “Jordan Beard is Joleen’s cousin.” The outburst, which she has repeated at nearly every court appearance, is an accusation about one of her defense attorneys that has been proven untrue.

Over the years, the state released a slew of evidence, showing blood found in the salon and surveillance of Kessler in Cummings SUV, without her.

Just last week, Kessler’s attorneys filed a new motion- suggesting Cummings could have become violent with Kessler after an argument about drugs found in Cummings purse in the salon.

Over the years, the woman with 17 aliases, has undergone 3 mental competency evaluations. The judge ultimately ruled her competent to stand trial. One week before jury selection, the defense requested another mental competency evaluation.

“While you usually don’t see a motion this late, it clearly predicated on the fact that the defense is having a difficult time, if not impossible time communicating with their client and working with their client as they go to trial,” said Nichols.

The judge said Kessler can participate in jury selection.

Jury selection for Kimberly Kessler’s trial starts at 8:30 am on Monday at the Nassau County Courthouse.


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