Judge rules prosecutors can seek death penalty in Zavala-Garcia trial

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia is charged with capital murder

Judge rules prosecutors can seek death penalty in Zavala-Garcia trial
Gustavo Zavala-Garcia regresa al tribunal por una audencia preliminar

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -A Smith County judge has denied a motion aiming to prevent prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case of an accused murderer.

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia is charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Kayla Gomez-Orozco. Kayla went missing during a Nov. 1, 2016, prayer service at a church in Bullard. Her body was later found in a water well at Zavala-Garcia’s home on FM 2493.

In March, attorneys for Zavala-Garcia filed a motion to preclude prosecutors from seeking the death penalty. That motion was denied by Smith County Judge Jack Skeen at an April 11 pre-trial hearing.

Attorneys have also filed a motion for a change of venue and a motion to suppress statements made by Zavala-Garcia during an interview with law enforcement. Those motions are expected to be considered at a later date.

Zavala-Garcia’s next pre-trial hearing is April 18 at 9am.

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