Aileen Seiden [ Seiden Family ]
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Seiden trial pushed to January

Nearly six years after Aileen Seiden’s life ended brutally in Eastpoint when she was just 31 years old, the trial of one of her alleged killers and the sentencing of another won’t happen until 2024.

At an Aug. 8 case management hearing, Circuit Judge Frank Allman set Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024 as the first of what would likely be a two-day jury selection process, with the trial expected to last from Jan. 19 through 30.

Allman took over July 1 handling cases in Franklin County, succeeding Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom. Both men, during their stints here, have also been serving as the chief judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit.

The January 2024 trial will only be for Zachary Abell, 35, of North Miami Beach, who has been charged with first-degree murder, accessory after the fact and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly taking part in beating Seiden to death at an Eastpoint motel.

Zachary Abell [ FCSO }
Zachary Abell

Charged with similar crimes,  Christina Marie Araujo, 43, of Palm Beach, decided in May to plead guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder, and awaits sentencing. She is scheduled to give a deposition this Friday morning in the office of State Attorney Jared Patterson, and it could be used at Abell’s trial, where Araujo is expected to be a witness.

Tallahassee attorney Alex Morris, representing Abell, said he plans to file further motions ahead of trial, and agreed to an Oct. 10 case management hearing. 

West Palm Beach attorney, representing Araujo, was also on hand on the Zoom call but did not comment.

On April 23, 2018, Araujo and Abell are alleged to have beaten Seiden to death in a room all three shared at the Sportsman’s Lodge, and then dumped her body in a cul-de-sac at a vacant subdivision off U.S. 98, before hurrying back to Miami where they were later apprehended.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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