NEW BOSTON, Texas: Trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning for a Texarkana man accused of sexually inappropriate contact with an 11-year-old girl in 2016.
Shaquyl Blackwell, 23, rejected an offer from the state to plead guilty to indecency with a child by sexual contact and serve a three-year prison term at a hearing earlier this week. Blackwell’s attorney, Shoaib Daredia of the Bowie County Public Defenders Office, reminded Blackwell that he faces two to 20 years in prison if a jury finds him guilty.
A jury of five men and seven women was selected to decide the case Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. The jury is expected to begin deliberations today or tomorrow.
Blackwell was allegedly left in charge of the girl while she was visiting her aunt at a Texarkana, Texas, apartment complex Dec. 11, 2016, according to a probable cause affidavit. Blackwell allegedly touched the girl inappropriately through her clothing. The girl’s mother reported the alleged abuse and the girl was interviewed at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center.
When interviewed by Texarkana, Texas, investigators, Blackwell denied the allegations. Prosecuting the case are First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter.