Lufkin capital murder suspect makes court appearance

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin capital murder suspect appeared in court Monday morning, as his attorney filed motions to prepare his defense.

Jerry Whiteker, the attorney for Rafael Orta Jr., 20, filed motions for the state to designate experts, appointment of investigator and inspection of premises (the home where the shooting occurred).

Prosecuting attorney Katrina Carswell said all the motions have been granted.

Orta was arrested in February, along with four others, in connection to the shooting death of Robert Darnell Bennett on California Boulevard.

Lufkin Police believe the five came to the house to rob Bennett of marijuana when one of them shot him.

Carswell said all five suspects will be tried separately.

Orta's jury selection is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Jesus Vela, Osvaldo Hernandez, Gerardo Renteria and Jacob Woodard are the co-defendents in the case. All are scheduled for jury selection on the same date.

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