7onScene: Hearing to decide if further DNA testing is needed in Zavala-Garcia capital murder case

Kayla Gomez-Orozco. (Source: Family Photo)
Kayla Gomez-Orozco. (Source: Family Photo)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A man accused of murdering a 10-year-old girl is in court today for another pre-trial hearing.

Gustavo Zavala Garcia is accused of killing Kayla Gomez-Orozco in November 2016. He's been charged with capital murder.

Gomez-Orozco was found in the bottom of a well after she went missing from a Bullard church. Four days after the search began her body was discovered in the well on Garcia's property.

Today's hearing at 10:30 in Judge Jack Skeen's courtroom was scheduled to discuss which items will need further DNA testing. The state and defense must agree on what items need further testing.

"By agreeing to test [the items], we are avoiding a lengthy writ and appellate issue that could result in the case being reversed years later," Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said.

The last hearing was on April 26. A forensic analyst provided an update on some evidence that was brought into the case. The analyst said there are approximately 35 hair strands that could potentially further DNA testing. That would require sending the evidence to a lab in Fort Worth.

DPS trace examiner Angel Rios is discussing the further DNA testing and trace examination in court.

Zavala-Garcia has been in the Smith County Jail awaiting trial for almost a year and a half now.  Some of that time was spent in solitary after he climbed onto a basketball goal and refused to come down.

According to court records, Zavalla-Garcia is scheduled to go to trial in October 2018.

Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Putman is helping handle the case. Putman is the Republican nominee for Smith County District Attorney in the fall elections.

The next pre-trial hearing is set for Thurs. July 12 at 10 a.m.

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