A retrial date in the capital murder case against Daniel Villegas was set by Judge Sam Medrano late last week. The trial is now set to begin in just five weeks, on July 9.
The Specially Set Jury Trial will begin two months after a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled key evidence introduced by prosecutors in the case against Villegas was inadmissible.
The evidence included several jailhouse phone calls between Villegas and John Mimbela, who was spearheading the effort to have him released from jail.
Villegas was accused of murder in the 1993 drive-by shooting of Robert England and Armando Lazo in Northeast El Paso. His first trial in 1994 ended in a mistrial. He was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison during a 1995 retrial.
He was released on appeal in January 2014 and has since been awaiting retrial – which District Attorney Jaime Esparza has said in the past that he intends to pursue.
The Villegas case was featured on an episode of Dateline NBC in 2016.