Gustavo Zavala-Garcia enters the courtroom for his pretrial hearing in Judge Jack Skeen’s court on March 7. Zavala-Garcia was indicted in 2017 and faces a capital murder charge.

The trial for capital murder suspect Gustavo Zavala-Garcia has been rescheduled to March.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Jan. 30 with a pretrial hearing on March 5 and the jury trial slated to start on March 16, according to Smith County judicial records.

Zavala-Garcia, 26, is accused of the November 2016 killing of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco, and, if convicted on the capital murder charge, could be sentenced to death.

A May 2 pretrial hearing was canceled and the court said the scheduling order would be revised. During an April hearing, 241st District Court Judge Jack Skeen granted a defense motion in the case for additional DNA testing.

Zavala-Garcia was related to Kayla by marriage and was among the last people to see her before she went missing Nov. 1, 2016, from the foyer of Bullard First Assembly on U.S. Highway 69.

Her body was found four days later in a well on the property where Zavala-Garcia lived, in the 22100 block of Farm-to-Market Road 2493 (Old Jacksonville Highway) in Bullard.

It is unclear what caused her death, and at the time the indictment was released, then-District Attorney Matt Bingham declined to comment, citing a restrictive and protective order in the case.

In the indictment, prosecutors contend Zavala-Garcia attacked Kayla and sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault her after her kidnapping.

Prosecutors also contend he struck Kayla with and against a blunt object, asphyxiated her and drowned her.

TWITTER: @LouAnnCampbell


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I started working at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in June 2016. I am a retired U.S. Air Force Sr. Master Sergeant. After a 21-year military career, in Security Forces, the military police of the Air Force, I went back to college and studied journalism.