Jury selection begins in case of man accused of killing girlfriend's 3-year-old

Jurors seated in toddler murder trial
Jordyn Dumont (Source: Family) and McCullen (Source: Gaston County Jail)
Jordyn Dumont (Source: Family) and McCullen (Source: Gaston County Jail)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the case of William McCullen, the man accused of killing his then girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter nearly two years ago.

As of Monday afternoon, 12 jurors had been selected and prosecution and defense teams are in the process of confirming alternatives.

William "Skip" McCullen, 25, is charged with murder in 3-year-old Jordyn Dumont's death. McCullen pleaded not guilty in November 2016.

Investigators say McCullen initially reported the toddler missing in an emotional 911 call August 15, 2016, saying he fell asleep and the girl was gone when he woke up. Her remains were found the next day.

An autopsy report stated that Dumont died of blunt force abdominal injuries due to assault. According to the autopsy, Dumont was found wrapped in a fitted black sheet in a hole beneath several broken tree limbs and dry leaves.

She was dressed in a long sleeve white shirt with the words "Best Big Sister," according to the report, and had "multiple contusions to the abdomen, bilateral arms and legs. Vomit was noted in the mouth and nose."

McCullen's trial was moved to Cleveland County due to popularity surrounding the case. During the pre-trial hearing, the defense team for McCullen requested that no one be allowed to enter the courtroom wearing any pins, buttons, t-shirts, or anything that showed Jordyn Dumont's face, as it could taint the jury. The judge granted the request.

Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) previously released information about a case involving Dumont.

Officials said DHHS made five unannounced visits to the home between March 18 and May 19 in 2016 for "suspected neglect due to improper supervision and substance abuse."

Dumont's family moved into the home on Bess Town Road in November 2015. Police said officers were called to the home 16 times before she was reported missing on August 15.

McCullen was given a 2 million dollar secured bond. His next court date is in January.

Prosecutors are seeking life in prison.

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