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Apr 19, 2012 9:32 AM by AP

Trial starts in 2010 deaths of mother, child

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Trial has begun in Houma in the case of a Chauvin truck driver charged in the deaths of his girlfriend and infant son.

The Courier reports that 34-year-old Tyari Smith is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 26-year-old Maria Chavez and 2-year-old Tyari Smith Jr.

The two were found in the family's home in January 2010.

While prosecutors say Smith did the killing, defense attorney Bernard Levy said in opening statements that it remains unclear who killed the woman and child. Levy said police failed to investigate other possibilities and that there are doubts about whether Smith did it.

If convicted, Smith would face life in prison.

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