|Published:||Aug 26, 2013 10:12 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 26, 2013 4:39 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A Fort Myers man accused of murder plead no contest to the charges today.
Connell Carroll is accused of killing 21-year-old Nicole Smith, while she was holding her 3-month-old baby in her arms.
Carroll and his defense attorney's suprised everyone this morning. As jury selection was about to begin in the case, he took his trial in a completely different direction.
Carroll found himself standing before Judge Bruce Kyle this morning, but just moments before the judge was going to call potential jurors into the courtroom, Carroll's defense attorneys asked the judge if they could have a recess to talk with their client. A short time after, it was announced that Carroll wanted to plead no contest.
The 2011 shooting happened on Brookhill Drive in Fort Myers. Authorities allege Carroll and Smith had been arguing and Carroll shot Smith. She would later die from her injury.
"It just turned our life upside down. Everything has changed. The only joy now is having Julia, Nicole's daughter, with me," said Ann Seaburg, Nicole's mother. "She's the one that puts a smile on my face everyday."
Carroll was also a suspect in a second murder, that of Danielle Blackburn back in 2009. Her father, Don Blackburn, spoke with us as well. You'll hear his reaction to Carroll's plea in our evening newscasts.
Carroll faces 25 years to life behind bars, and is expected back in court for sentencing on October 21st.