A man appeared in court yesterday charged with killing a 14-year-old girl.

Rhianna Moore died on or about May 30 last year.

Charged with her premeditated murder is Ze Menefeskiduse Selassie, 33, of Battery Road, St David's.

His trial began in the Supreme Court yesterday and is expected to last for three weeks, with up to 31 prosecution witnesses being called.

Mr. Selassie denied murdering Miss Moore with premeditation when the charge was read to him before jury selection.

Appearing in a neat grey suit, the slight, bespectacled defendant remained quiet except to confirm his name and exercise his right to challenge three jurors selected for the panel.

Seven women and five men were vetted, chosen and sworn for the trial.

Chief Justice Richard Ground heard legal arguments from both the Crown and defence during much of the rest of the day and the prosecution case will start this morning when Crown Counsel Cindy Clarke makes her opening speech to the jury.

Assisting her are Deputy DPP Michael McColm and Crown Counsel Larissa Burgess.

John Perry QC and barrister Elizabeth Christopher represent Mr. Selassie.

The penalty for premeditated murder is life in prison.

As the Criminal Code is presently written, a person convicted of it is not eligible for parole for 25 years.