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Thu, Oct. 17

Motion deadline set by judge in Cecilio Cruz case

Cecilo Cruz, shown in a court appearance several years ago, is due to go on trial in January in Prescott for the 1997 murder of a 17-year-old girl.

Cecilo Cruz, shown in a court appearance several years ago, is due to go on trial in January in Prescott for the 1997 murder of a 17-year-old girl.

PRESCOTT — A judge has established a motion deadline for the trial of a man accused of killing a teenage girl more than 20 years ago.

A new trial date of Jan. 8, 2020, has been set for Cecilio Cruz — the man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Marisol Gonzalez, in March 1997.

All motions by the defense or prosecution must be submitted by Oct. 4, according to an order from Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Trebesch. Responses are due by Oct. 18 and replies are due by Oct. 28.

Cruz’s 18-day trial is set to take place at the Yavapai County Superior Court in Prescott. The Jan. 8 start is a firm trial date, according to case minutes. No continuances will be allowed.

Pretrial interviews and disclosures by all parties must be completed by Nov. 1. A final list of witnesses and proposed jury instructions must be submitted by Dec. 6.

Between March 24 and 25, 1997, Cottonwood Police Department began investigating the death of Gonzalez and her unborn son, Andrew.

According to police, she was found early in the morning with a gunshot wound to her face in an alley just a short distance from her home. A memorial with a cross and flowers continues to stand today in the alley off Birch Street, between 13th and 14th Streets.

In September 2014, Cruz was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges. The murder charge is for the death of Gonzalez and the manslaughter charge is for the death of Andrew, said Cottonwood Police Sgt. Tod Moore in a 2014 verdenews.com video interview.

The two dated in high school, and she found out that she was pregnant with his child after they broke up. Her body was found in an alley near her Cottonwood home the same day she was scheduled to be induced to deliver the baby boy she named Andrew, according to police.

Since 2014, the case has seen multiple delays with two teams of public defenders withdrawing themselves, citing ethical conflicts.

The case was also featured on TNT’s Cold Justice.

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