PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – More than two years after Christina Morris vanished from a Plano parking garage, the man who is accused of kidnapping her will go on trial. Jury selection began Tuesday in Collin County, where lawyers for Enrique Arochi are concerned that their client will not be treated fairly.
Arochi is the prime suspect in the disappearance of the 23-year-old woman. They were once classmates in high school. Morris was last seen walking with Arochi into a parking garage at The Shops at Legacy in Plano. After finding matching DNA samples in the trunk of his car, police arrested Arochi for aggravated kidnapping.
However, throughout the investigation, Arochi has denied that he had anything to do with the case. And the location of Morris remains a mystery. To this day, her friends and family members continue to search for any signs of her body.
The focus on Tuesday is inside of the courtroom, where prosecutors and defense lawyers began questioning potential jurors at the Collin County Courthouse in McKinney. Arochi’s attorneys are worried that, with so much publicity surrounding this case, their client will not receive a fair trial.
Jury selection is a two-step process. First, a panel of 125 potential jurors fill out a questionnaire to see how much they already know ab0ut this particular case. Then, attorneys will question the potential jurors as they try to find the 12 people who can be fair in this high-profile investigation.
This case has attracted widespread attention, but a request to move the trial out of Collin County was denied by the judge. The defense attorneys this spring then filed motions to suppress a range of evidence — everything from Arochi’s phone, email and bank records, and evidence that was found in Arochi’s car.
Keith Gore is Arochi’s lawyer. He and his team is confident that they will seat a jury by the end of Tuesday. Meanwhile, Morris has had family members inside of the courtroom for every step of this case. Her grandparents were there for jury selection on Tuesday. The courtroom is expected to be packed full when opening statements begin on Wednesday.