Lawyers anticipate seating a jury this morning in the Franklin County trial of a 32-year-old man accused of killing his young son's mother months after their relationship ended.
Gregorio Luna Luna is charged with aggravated first-degree murder for the May 2010 death of Griselda Ocampo Meza.
The couple had been together for seven years when she ended their relationship in January 2010.
The case against Luna Luna includes the aggravating allegations Ocampo Meza had a protection order in place against her ex at the time of her death and that the couple had a history of domestic violence.
Never miss a local story.
Luna Luna is claiming that he acted in self-defense.
He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of release if the jury convicts him with the aggravating factors.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent all day Tuesday questioning prospective jurors about their ability to sit on the trial, which could last three weeks.
A couple of people were dismissed for financial hardships, along with a woman who teared up when the jurors were asked if they would have problems viewing "sad and gruesome pictures" and dealing with domestic violence and "the emotional aspects of the loss of someone's life."
Ocampo Meza, 21, died in her North 22nd Avenue apartment early May 24, 2010, before she could get to a hospital.
Luna Luna reportedly confronted her roommates in the complex parking lot and forced them to hand over the house key as they were leaving for work.
Luna Luna argued with Ocampo Meza inside her apartment before allegedly stabbing her once in the chest with a kitchen knife.
The couple's 5-year-old son was rushed out of the home by her new boyfriend just before she was attacked.
Luna Luna was arrested by Pasco police later that afternoon as he hid in the bathroom of a vacant home.
Ocampo Meza was killed less than a month after Luna Luna was sent back to his native Mexico following deportation proceedings. He recrossed the border sometime between May 1 and May 23, when he stole a Snohomish friend's car to drive to the Tri-Cities.
The victim died just hours after running into Luna Luna at a Kennewick restaurant. She had told him to leave because of the two-year protection order, but not before he allegedly made threats.
When the trial resumes today in Franklin County Superior Court, the lawyers will pick a 12-member jury with two alternates from 34 prospective jurors.
The trial will then recess until Thursday morning, when both sides will give opening statements and prosecutors will call their first witnesses.