Guilty verdict for man accused of killing teen

- Jurors have found a man guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of 16-year-old Olympia High School student Alexandria Chery in 2014.

Authorities say Sanel Saint-Simon, 46, the long-term partner of Chery's mother, misled detectives in their investigation into the disappearance of Chery.  

Chery's body was discovered four days after her disappearance in a wooded area along the Orange-Osceola county line.  Her cause of death was believed to be due to stabbing and blunt force trauma.  Investigators had already arrested Saint-Simon on a charge of giving false information to law enforcement.

Investigators said Saint-Simon was the boyfriend of Chery's mother at the time and they all lived together.  They said Saint-Simon tried to sexually batter the teen, and she tried fighting him off, but was killed.  

Prosecutors and defense attorneys rested their case Monday afternoon.  Saint-Simon elected not to testify in his own defense. 

It took the jury approximately seven hours to deliberate. Shortly after the verdict was read and the jury was dismissed, Saint-Simon appeared faint and collapsed into a chair. 

Chery's family says it has been an emotional rollercoaster, but they finally got justice.

Saint-Simon was also found guilty of aggravated child abuse and giving false information to law enforcement officers. He could face death or life in prison without parole.  A separate penalty phase hearing will be held on April 16.

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