For the first time since taking office, elected Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg is prosecuting a felony animal cruelty trial himself.
"He is passionate about animals," Aronberg spokesman Mike Edmondson said.
Anthony Herring is on trial accused of starving a three-year-old pit bull named Bella in Suburban Delray Beach.
Investigators say they found Bella near death with her ribs showing and bugs all over her. She was chained to a fence.
"I vomited the first time I saw those pictures," Bella's foster mother Caela Hayak said.
Jury selection for the trial took a full day on Monday.
Some of the potential jurors recognized Aronberg.
"It is hard enough to get an impartial jury as a defense lawyer. To try a case. To have an open mind. Is a jury thinking 'hey the state attorney is trying the case himself.' What does that mean?" News Channel 5 legal analyst Michelle Suskauer said.
Bella is now living with a new owner and is a healthy and normal weight.
"She is a sweetheart. She is so good with my kids. A nut ball. She runs crazy," new owner Crystal Barany said.
Opening statements for the trial are expected on Tuesday.