Zavala Garcia trial likely to be pushed back as DNA testing continues

Zavala Garcia trial likely to be pushed back as DNA testing continues

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Extensive DNA testing continues for the trial surrounding the murder of a young girl in Bullard.

Gustavo Zavala Garcia was back in court for a pre-trial hearing on July 12, he was arrested and charged with capital murder for the death of Kayla Gomez Orozco,10, in November of 2016.

Authorities discovered her body in a well on Zavala Garcia's property after she went missing from church. Zavala- Garcia, who is related to the victim through marriage, is said to be one of the last people who saw her alive.

During the pre-trial hearing the court received an update on the status of the trace analysis and DNA testing being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety for the case.

Kristen Cossota, an official from the lab says they're in the process of selecting 24 of the 400 hairs found on Kayla's clothes to see they meet the criteria to extract DNA.

This next step in the process could take up to 30 days, as well as another 90 days to complete the testing, because of this, Smith County Judge Jack Skeen says it's unlikely the trial will stay on schedule.

The trial was previously slated to begin in October, but during her testimony Cossota said sticking to that timeline, "could be a stretch."

Judge Skeen says the hope is to be able to set a new scheduling order after the next pre-trial hearing, once he gets additional updates on the status of DNA testing. He says jury summons will not be sent out until after this process is complete.

The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for August 16 at 10 a.m.

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