JURY SELECTION OPENS

The trial for the murder of 14-month-old child is set to begin

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PITTSBORO — Jury selection in the trial of a couple charged in the murder of a 14-month-old child began earlier this month, marking the beginning of what could be a lengthy court case.

Josalyn Upchurch, 32, of Moncure and her ex-boyfriend, Rickey Devon Adams, 43, were both charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse in 2018 stemming from the death of Upchurch’s son, DeAndre Cotton on July 16, 2017.

Police and paramedics were called to Upchurch’s apartment at 127 Broadmoor Dr. in Pittsboro after her call to 911. When first responders arrived, they found the child dead and covered in bruises — particularly around his head and face.

An autopsy revealed the cause of Cotton’s death: blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen. The report noted the child also suffered from broken ribs and a laceration to the liver.

Upchurch is being represented by Sanford-based lawyer Jonathan Silverman, and Adams is being represented by Public Defender Woodrena Baker-Harrell. The News + Record reached out to both attorneys about the cases, but didn’t receive responses prior to publication.

A trial date hasn’t been set yet, according to Chatham County Court officials.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at theeden@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @HeedenTaylor.

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