EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Jury impanelment has begun for an Edinburg man accused of fatally shooting a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
Victor Godinez is facing one count of capital murder of a peace officer and two counts of attempted capital murder in connection to the shooting death of DPS trooper Moises Sanchez.
Court records show that jury impanelment began Thursday morning.
In April 2019, trooper Sanchez responded to an accident in Edinburg, where Godinez had fled the scene. Sanchez pursued Godinez, who then shot at Sanchez and two other officers before he was taken into custody, according to previous ValleyCentral reports.
Godinez was arrested on three counts of attempted capital murder, with one of them being upgraded to capital murder after Sanchez died in August 2019 following complications from surgery.
ValleyCentral spoke with Hidalgo County District Attorney Terry Palacios who explained the jury impanelment.
According to Palacios, the process is to get a large jury pool to answer a questionnaire, since the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. In cases like this, a large pool is needed to select the best jury pool for both sides, he said.
During the process, potential jurors will be asked who supports the death penalty and who does not — and then the pool will then be scaled down to 12 jurors, with two or three alternates, depending on the judge’s request.
The trial will not begin until this process is complete.
Previous ValleyCentral reports stated that Godinez’s trial was initially delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was delayed a second time due to Hurricane Hanna. Court records show that the jury impanelment continued Friday morning.