Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said Friday afternoon jury selection will begin Monday morning in the trial of Jamel Good. Brackett said he expects the jury to be empaneled and opening arguments heard that afternoon. Judge James Williams of Orangeburg will preside over the trial which Brackett said will probably last most of the week.
Good, 28, 389 Blue Ridge Road, is charged with murder in the death of 31 year old Maria Fernandez who disappeared Sept. 3, 2008 after finishing her shift at Ellen Sagar Nursing Home. At the time of his arrest on Feb. 9 of this year, authorities said Good picked up Fernandez at Ellen Sagar. In his statement after being arrested, Good admitted he’d last seen Fernandez at his home that afternoon. The arrest warrant stated a neighbor reported hearing gunshots coming from Good’s house the evening of Fernandez’s disappearance.
Fernandez’s skeletal remains were found by a utility worker in a remote area near Carlisle. Investigators believe Fernandez was killed the day of her disappearance but forensic pathologists were not able to determine the cause of her death and deputies have not recovered a firearm in the case.
Good’s arrest warrant also states after Fernandez was last seen, a witness reported hearing Good destroy an item on the side of a road in Union County. Pieces of her cell phone cover were found at the location the witness heard Good destroying it. In announcing Good’s arrest, Sheriff David Taylor said cell phone records showed Good using a phone on the night of Sept. 3, 2008, and that the call was activated off a tower in the Carlisle area.
Deputies took Good into custody on the morning of Feb. 9. Taylor said Good had hidden from deputies when they’d went to his home on previous occasions and had instructed his children to hide from authorities. He said Good was not cooperating and had said nothing since his initial statement following his arrest.
Good has a criminal record dating back to 1998 that includes arrests for possession of crack cocaine and marijuana and writing a fraudulent check. He has been held in the Union County Jail since his arrest.