Jury selected as Solomon trial set to begin

Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond man accused of killing his girlfriend, dropping her toddler off at an apartment complex and then going on the run heads to trial Monday.

Jurors have been selected and will be seated after a break for lunch, when they will hear opening arguments.

Michael Solomon is charged with first degree murder in the death of Tameka Claiborne.

It began with the mystery of a 3-year-old boy, found sitting on the bumper of a truck at 11:30 at night at the Addison and Swift Creek apartment complex in Chesterfield.

Then 14 hours later, the boy's father saw his son's picture on TV and called police.

Police now had a new mystery -- where was Malik's mother, 27-year-old Tameka Claiborne? Malik's father and family grew worried.

"There's no way she would have abandoned him," said Hasaan Ellison.

"She's like a sister to me," said Christa Ellison. "I talk to her regularly and we communicate... I just wish she come home safely."

Police began to canvas the area. They stopped cars to pass out flyers. The mystery grew.

Her facebook page indicated a string of bad luck and possible problems with her boyfriend Michael Solomon. She asked for prayers.

Police were now asking for help in finding Solomon.

The investigation eventually lead police to an apartment complex on Blandy Avenue in south Richmond.

According to a search warrant, inside Tameka's home, police found red stains and believed they had a crime scene.

Police ramped up their efforts, expanding into Hopewell, where Solomon is from.

Four days after it began -- terrible news for Tameka's family. Her body washed up on the banks of the James River in Charles City County. A chimney sweep found her wrapped in a brown blanket, face down in the sand with her ankles tied.

As crime scene units arrived at the river to collect Tameka's body, Michael Solomon turned himself into police. He was eventually charged with first degree murder.

Two of Solomon's friends, charged with helping dispose of the body or move Solomon's vehicle, are both expected to play key roles in Solomon's trial which started 9:30 a.m. Monday.

It is scheduled to last three days.

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