2nd Lufkin capital murder suspect to stand trial on Dec. 10

Rafael Orta Jr. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Rafael Orta Jr. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A second capital suspect in the February shooting death of Darnell Bennett will stand trial for his part in the crime on Dec. 10.

Rafael Orta, 20, of Lufkin, is still being held in the Angelina County on a charge of capital murder by terroristic threat. His bond has been set at $1 million. His charges also include a laundry list of misdemeanor and capias warrants.

Orta appeared in an Angelina County court in August, so that his attorney, Jerry Whiteker could file motions for the appointment of an investigator, an investigation of the premises where the shooting occurred, and for the state to designate experts.

Last February, Orta and four other suspects were arrested in connection to Bennett's murder. Lufkin Police detectives believe the five men went to Bennett's house on California Boulevard intent on robbing him of marijuana.

One of the other suspects, Jacob Woodard, admitted to shooting Bennett. In early November, an Angelina County jury found Woodard guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to life in prison.

The other co-defendants in the case include: Jesus Vela, Osvaldo Hernandez, and Gerardo Renteria. They will be tried at a later date.

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