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May 8, 2013

Jury selection set in child murder case

— Even as the start of testimony is approaching in one local capital murder case, jury selection is scheduled next week in the trial of  one of two Campbell residents, charged with capital murder in connection with the 2011 death of a 2 year-old child.

The Hunt County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty for Gabriela Ortiz and Arturo Aguilar Vega Jr., should they be convicted of capital murder involving the death of Brandon Herrera.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Vega currently has the assembly of a jury pool scheduled for next Wednesday, May 15 in the 354th District Court. The questioning of individual jurors is to begin May 20.

Ortiz has trial scheduled for September 5.

Ortiz and Vega remain in custody at the Hunt County Jail, each in lieu of $2 million bond.

Documents released in the case show both Ortiz and Vega admitting to having caused injuries to Herrera prior to his July 18, 2011 death.

The indictments issued by the Hunt County grand jury allege Herrera either died as the result of blunt force trauma, choking/strangling or smothering.

Jury selection has been under way since March 27 in the trial of Micah Crofford Brown, charged with one count of capital murder in connection with the death of Stella Michelle “Doc” Ray, a Caddo Mills school teacher who was shot and killed in Greenville on the night of July 29, 2011. Brown has pleaded not guilty.

A date for the start of testimony in the trial had not been announced as of Tuesday.

Brown, 33, remains in custody at the Hunt County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million bond.

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