MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – It took two days, but Enrique Arochi’s fate is now in the hands of a Collin County jury. The publicity surrounding the kidnapping case of Christina Morris from Plano’s Shops at Legacy prompted questions of whether the court could find 12 impartial people.
Before the trial could begin attorneys arrived at the courthouse early to continue the complicated jury selection process. Attorneys weren’t able to narrow down 125 candidates to 12 jurors and two alternates on day one. By lunch Wednesday the jury was finally in place leading to a mass exodus for those excused from the trial, most admitting to the judge they had heard of the case.
The trial got heated from the start. After swearing in more than a dozen potential witnesses including Christina Morris’ mother, father, and step-mother, the judge ordered the group outside of the courtroom until they are called. Prosecutor Zeke Fortenberry asked Judge Mark Rusch to allow Morris’ parents to remain for the bulk of the trial citing state law. Rusch denied the request saying Fortenberry had misinterpreted the law. The parents left the courtroom slamming the door on their way out prompting the judge to warn Fortenberry about any more disruptions.
In opening statements Fortenberry argued that Arochi was responsible for Morris’ disappearance after being rejected that night by another girl. The prosecution told the jury the most important things in this trial will be video surveillance, cell phone pings and DNA evidence.
In the opening statement for the defense Arochi attorney Keith Gore argued many other people could be responsible including a possible connection between Morris’ boyfriend and the Arian Brotherhood.
The trial will resume Wednesday morning when prosecutors are expected to call Morris’ former boyfriend, Hunter Foster to the stand.
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