by: Samantha Manning Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ruben Ebron’s father told Action News Jax that his main concern is that his son gets a fair trial.
"If you look back from day one, it's been prejudice because he's been labeled a monster from then,” William Ebron Sr. said. “Everyone else was cleared. The eyes have been on him."
Ebron is facing charges of child neglect, lying to police and tampering with evidence in connection with the disappearance of 21-month-old Lonzie Barton in July.
Jury selection for the trial begins Monday.
Ebron Sr. also said he does not believe the testimony from Lonzie’s mother, Lonna Lauramore Barton, will hurt his son’s case.
"If it takes six months for a mother to come out and say, ‘Hey I want to tell the truth,’ that says a lot about a mother. So whatever she has to say, it involves them both, so I'm not worried about that," Ebron Sr. said.
During Thursday’s pre-trial hearing, the defense argued that evidence from Ebron’s cellphone should be thrown out because the investigators did not have a search warrant.
The prosecution argued that Ebron voluntarily gave consent and even offered a charger.
The judge will announce his decision on the motion to suppress the evidence Friday.
Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said losing the cellphone evidence could be a major blow for the prosecution.
“If the search was improper and the evidence is thrown out, then it’s the fruit of the poisonous tree, which means that anything that expands out from that may well be restricted from being brought before the jury,” Carson said.
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