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22 Years Later: Jan. 8, 2020, trial date firmly set in Marisol Gonzalez murder case

Monday marked the 22-year anniversary of when Gonzalez was found shot and killed in an alley in Cottonwood. She was 17 years old, as was Cruz. VVN file photo

Monday marked the 22-year anniversary of when Gonzalez was found shot and killed in an alley in Cottonwood. She was 17 years old, as was Cruz. VVN file photo

PRESCOTT -- A new trial date has been set for Cecilio Cruz -- the man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Marisol Gonzalez 22 years ago.

Monday marked the 22-year anniversary of when Gonzalez was found shot and killed in an alley in Cottonwood. She was 17 years old, as was Cruz.

Cruz’s 18-day trial is set to begin Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. at the Yavapai County Superior Court in Prescott, according to court records. The trial will have a 12-person jury.

This is a firm trial date, according to case minutes. No continuances will be allowed.

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.

“The team from Cold Justice stays in contact with me frequently throughout the year for updates as they remain very engaged in this case since they assisted with it in 2014,” said Sgt. Moore in a Cottonwood PD news release.

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