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Jury selection underway in case against Brian Reavis

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The man accused of brutally beating and sexually assaulting a 95-year-old Wilmington woman last year was in court today as jury selection began for 41-year-old Brian Reavis.

This was a crime that horrified a downtown neighborhood a year ago. Neighbors rallied to the victim who had been assaulted, robbed and savagely beaten. A month later, police linked Brian Reavis to the crime.

No cameras were allowed in the courtroom on Monday morning as jury selection began in the Brian Reavis trial.

Reavis faces first-degree charges of sexual offense, rape, robbery, and burglary. He’s also charged with maiming, since the victim was blinded in one eye as a result of the attack.

Neighbors where the attack happened last April have not forgotten the incident.

“What happened was just terrible and I think it just has pulled us all together to be more vigilant. We keep depending on the police but they are not around 24/7,” said Sandra Paul

In the courtroom, Reavis’ attorney submitted a plea of insanity.

Back in December, a judge ordered Reavis to undergo psychological evaluation. The findings will eventually be presented to the jury.

District Attorney Ben David said the prosecution will try to disprove the insanity defense.

Reavis has a long rap sheet. He violated his parole after serving 11 years behind bars for robbery charges, and was sent back to jail in April 2007. Police say he had only been out of prison four months before he was arrested for this attack.

The neighborhood where the victim lives was quiet today, but there was plenty of public outcry and media attention last year after the attack.

That’s why Reavis’ attorney motioned for a change of venue. DA Ben David argued Reavis will still be able to receive a fair trial in New Hanover County.

The judge said she’ll delay that motion for now.

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Story summary

videoThe man accused of brutally beating and sexually assaulting a 95-year-old Wilmington woman last year was in court today as jury selection began for 41-year-old Brian Reavis.

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