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Jury selection begins in case of grandfather accused of killing grandson

Joel Soto facing felony murder, arson charges

SAN ANTONIO – Jury selection began Thursday in the trial of Joel Soto.

He is facing charges of felony murder, manslaughter, injury to a child serious bodily injury and arson, in the death of his 2-year-old grandson, Jeremy Alonzo Soto.

The disturbing nature of the case and graphic nature of the anticipated evidence, prompted several jurors to ask to be excused.

Police said Soto told them that as he was working on the carburetor of his pickup truck on Nov. 21, 2013, when a flash fire erupted. He said the flames were so intense that he was unable to rescue the child from the cab of the truck.

RELATED: San Antonio grandfather charged in fire that killed grandson

The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the arrest affidavit, Soto said that the injuries he sustained trying to rescue the child were “inconsistent with his explanation of the events.”

“We believe that the state is going to have a problem proving some of the offenses because of the lack of evidence,” said defense attorney Justin Fischer.

Testimony in Soto’s trial is expected to begin Monday in 379th District Court.

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