Jaques Twinn
Jaques Twinn

Prosecutors and defense attorneys seated three jurors on Tuesday -- the first day of jury selection in the death-penalty trial of a York City man accused of fatally beating a toddler he regularly baby-sat.

Trial for Aric Shayne Woodard, 40, of West Jackson Street, is scheduled to begin Oct. 21. He remains in county prison without bail, charged in the Nov. 7, 2011, death of 2-year-old Jaques Twinn.

Jury selection resumes at 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to attorney Dawn Cutaia. She and attorney Joanne Floyd are representing Woodard.

York City Police allege Woodard, who goes by Shayne, beat Jaques to death while baby-sitting him in a home in the 100 block of West Boundary Avenue.

Aric Shayne Woodard
Aric Shayne Woodard

In seeking the death penalty, prosecutors have cited two aggravating factors: Jaques' young age and the fact that his death amounted to torture.

The background: Woodard was baby-sitting Jaques and his 1-year-old sister when he ran to neighbors and had them call 911, police said.

An ambulance rushed Jaques to York Hospital, where hospital personnel were told that Woodard reported the tot nearly drowned, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

But an autopsy determined Jaques was beaten to death, police said, and suffered wounds to his brain, face, ears, stomach, back, buttocks and legs. He also suffered internal abdominal injuries, officials have said.

Mess made: Woodard told police he left the children alone to go to a nearby store.


When he returned, he found Jaques sitting on the kitchen floor, smearing feces all over himself, according to York City Detective Al Clarkson.

Woodard told investigators he became frustrated and smacked the boy, then "snatched him up by the ear" and ordered him to go upstairs and clean himself, Clarkson said.

Woodard told detectives that when he checked on Jaques, the boy was sitting in the bathtub, slumped over and unresponsive, according to Clarkson.

Clarkson said he determined Woodard was the only adult with Jaques between about 8 p.m. Nov. 6, 2011, and when 911 was called about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 7, 2011.

Frustrated? According to Clarkson, Woodard had feelings for Jaques' mother, Hayley Twinn, but she did not feel the same. He also said Woodard considered the children his own.

"(Woodard) became frustrated that day," Clarkson has said. "He knew she was out with somebody else, and he realized she was using him to watch her kids while she was out with another guy. Whether that's the reason he snapped and did this? Well, that's something we're going to have to try to prove."

Defense attorney Floyd has said there's no definitive answer as to when the injuries were inflicted on Jaques, or who inflicted them.

Mom charged: York City Police charged Twinn, 21, of East King Street, with two counts of child endangerment, alleging she put her two children in danger by leaving them with Woodard.

Police allege Twinn knew Woodard was basically squatting in what essentially was an abandoned house in poor condition, but that she regularly allowed him to watch her 1- and 2-year-old children there anyway.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.