Jury selected in death penalty trial for Edinburg man accused of killing state trooper

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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)

Hidalgo County District Attorney Toribio “Terry” Palacios confirmed Wednesday morning that the jury and alternatives have been selected for the death penalty trial against a 28-year-old Edinburg man accused of shooting at three officers and killing one.

Palacios added that the date of the trial will be Jan. 8.

Victor Alejandro Godinez is facing the death penalty if convicted as he’s charged with capital murder of a peace officer following the death of 49-year-old Texas of Department Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez.

Godinez is also charged with two counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer as he’s accused of shooting at two Edinburg police officers, who were not hit, the night of his arrest.

Godinez’s defense attorney, O. Rene Flores, stated in a motion for continuance filed in another capital murder case that he expects the Godinez trial to last about two to three weeks.

The confirmation comes almost two months after jury selection began in early October.

Sanchez, who initially appeared on the road to recovery, died on Aug. 24, 2019, following a surgery conducted in Houston months after he had been shot.

On April 6, 2019, Godinez shot Sanchez once in the head and shoulder after fleeing from a car crash that Sanchez responded to on North 10th Street and Freddy Gonzalez Drive in McAllen, according to authorities.

Godinez led responding officers on a manhunt that ended just after 12:30 a.m. that night, but not before Godinez allegedly shot at two Edinburg police officers in the 1500 block of South Maltese in Edinburg, police have said.

Once found, Godinez was arrested east of Mon Mack Road and State Highway 107.

Police allege that Godinez used a .357 magnum that was later recovered in the vicinity of the location where Godinez was arrested.

Godinez has remained held in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on $3 million in bonds since his arrest.