Potential jurors in death penalty case against Edinburg man whittled down to 150

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Edinburg resident Victor Godinez appears in court on March 8, 2023, for a hearing in his death penalty case for the alleged murder of Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Moises Sanchez in 2019. (Xavier Alvarez | The Monitor)
Moises Sanchez

EDINBURG — The case revolving around the 28-year-old Edinburg man accused of shooting Texas Department of Public Safety trooper in 2019 who later died nears jury selection as the court continues to reduce the pool of potential jurors.

Victor Alejandro Godinez is accused of shooting Moises Sanchez, 49, in the head on April 6, 2019. He died months later following a surgery in Houston.

At a Wednesday hearing, the court heard that the pool of potential jurors during the impanelment has been reduced from about 800 down to 150.

State District Judge Letty Lopez established that the way both the defense and prosecutors will navigate the selection of these jurors will be in waves of four beginning next week.

Lopez stated that if they seem to be going faster than expected screening through four potential jurors at a time, she will increase it to five people at a time.

Should Godinez be convicted, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

When prosecutors seek the ultimate penalty for a crime, far more jurors are needed than during a capital murder trial where the death penalty is not on the table.

If Godinez is convicted, there are only two sentences that could be handed down: death and life without parole.

He is also accused of two counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer for shooting at two Edinburg police officers trying to apprehend him after a crash in Edinburg.

Sanchez was shot during that pursuit.

Godinez is scheduled for court again early next week.