The jury was chosen for the first-degree murder trial of Curtis Bonnell in a Miramichi courtroom Monday.

On the opening day of the trial, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Fred Ferguson selected 12 jurors and two spares from an original pool of 168 jurors.

Bonnell is charged with the murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Hilary Bonnell, in 2009.

Bonnell, of the Esgenoopetitj First Nation, pleaded not guilty. He has been in custody awaiting trial since December 2009 when the charges were laid.

During the trial, 45 witnesses will be called including Hilary Bonnell's parents, Pam Fillier and Boyd Bonnell.


Hilary Bonnell disappeared from her northern New Brunswick community in September 2009. (RCMP)

The trial is expected to take four to six weeks, said Ferguson.

Hilary Bonnell went missing on Sept. 5. 2009.

She was last seen walking along Highway 11 at about 7:30 a.m. in her northeastern New Brunswick community.

Police discovered her body in a wooded area near Tracadie-Sheila after more than two months of searching.