David Strickland appeared for a status hearing in November in a case in which he pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including murder, in connection with a 2012 attack on lesbian couple Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa in Portland, Texas.
Demonstrators outside the courtroom demanded the defendant be charged with a hate crime as well as for sexually assaulting both women, shooting both and killing one. Although detectives never ruled out hate as a motive, prosecutors said there was no evidence the attack was a hate crime.
The attack took place in a park about midnight on a Saturday night in June 2012. Both Chapa and Olgin were shot. Chapa survived.
Vigils were held in both Dallas and Fort Worth at the time of the murder and more than $2,000 was raised in the area to help Crime Stoppers find the murderer.
The trial will take place in the San Patricio County Courthouse in Sinton, north of Corpus Christi.
Strickland’s wife was also arrested in June. She was suspected of tampering with evidence, but that charge has been dropped.
Strickland appeared in court wearing a bullet-proof vest and defense attorneys may ask for a change of venue. The next hearing is set for Feb. 6.