Jury selection will continue Monday in the trial of a Jupiter man who’s accused of locking his adopted son in a box-like structure for hours at a time.
Tim Ferriter, 48, and his wife, Tracy Ferriter, 47, are charged with aggravated child abuse, false imprisonment and an added count of child neglect.
The Ferriters, who live in the upscale Jupiter neighborhood of Egret Landing, were arrested in February 2022.
Jupiter police said the couple kept their teenage adopted son in an 8×8 box in their garage.
Police said the box had a mattress, camera and bucket that was used as a restroom, and the boy was only allowed out to go to school. The couple was eventually arrested when the boy then 14 ran away.
Tim and Tracy Ferriter are being tried separately, starting with the father’s trial.
Judge Howard Coates is allowing cameras in the courtroom for the high-profile case that has gained national attention.
Jury selection began Friday with a pool of 100 prospective jurors. By the conclusion of Friday’s jury selection, six prospective jurors expressed concern about being photographed or recorded. They were given a questionnaire and sent home.
In a pretrial hearing last week, Tim Ferriter rejected a plea deal by the state that would have resulted in 24 months in prison and five years of probation. He now faces 40 years and possibly more.
Defense attorney Prya Murad contends the child was “a medically complex child” and the alleged box was “a room” used for monitoring.
The defense intends to show a pattern of troubled behavior, which at the onset of the case showed “dangerous and disturbing propensities,” including attachment disorders.
WPTV legal analyst Michelle Suskauer said the trial could be more complex than it seems on the surface.
“What we’ve read is a one-sided presentation of evidence,” Suskauer said. “It’s the probable cause affidavit that’s written by law enforcement and witness statements, and so there’s always more to the story.”
Suskauer said it’s a “challenging” case for defense attorneys.
“Cases involving children as victims are very challenging to defend,” Suskauer said.
Six jurors were expected to be selected by the end of the day, with opening statements to begin Tuesday.