everything just to get away from what was going on in the world.”
Alexandria’s cousin, Peter St. Fleur, called her “the girl who smiled through everything.” The family called her “Valiz,” the Haitian-Creole word for purse, because she wanted them to bring her along wherever they went.
Alexandria’s older brother, Fanzo Chery, described the first time he held his newborn baby sister at the hospital. She had chubby red cheeks, he said.
“She represented joy, ever since she was a baby. She would walk and hug you for no reason; she would dance with no music,” Fanzo Chery said.
Alexandria and Fanzo Chery’s mother, Rosalie Joseph, left the courtroom crying as he spoke to jurors.
“When Alex died, our family fell apart,” Fanzo Chery said. “It was a whirlwind. Uncles and daughters stopped talking. Fathers and brothers got into heated conversations. I believe the love we had within the family died with my sister Alex.”
Saint-Simon grew up in Haiti, where his family still lives. Because his family lives in a rural area of the country and could not come to Orlando, a defense attorney traveled to Haiti last week and set up a video feed.
Their testimony was recorded last week and played back to jurors Monday.
A son and a daughter, both in their early 20s, said they had not seen their father in person since he left Haiti in 1999, but spoke with him on the phone often.
He sent them money for school and basic needs, they said.
Jurors will return today to hear more from Saint-Simon’s family.