Death penalty still on table for man accused of killing trooper

Victor Godinez appears during his arraignment on charges of capital murder of a peace officer in the death of Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez in 389th state District Court in the Hidalgo County Courthouse on Monday, Oct, 7, 2019, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

EDINBURG — The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office has until Feb. 6 to decide whether to pursue the death penalty against a man accused of shooting and killing Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez in April.

State District Judge Letty Lopez set the deadline Thursday as Victor Alejandro Godinez appeared in court for his first pre-trial hearing since being arraigned in October on charges of capital murder of a peace officer and two counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer.

He has entered not guilty pleas to the charges.

Godinez is accused of gunning the 48-year-old Sanchez down on April 6 after fleeing a car crash the trooper responded to on North 10th Street and Freddy Gonzalez Drive in McAllen.

The 24-year-old man is accused of shooting Sanchez once in the head and once in the shoulder.

Sanchez, however, hung on after being shot.

He went through intense rehabilitation that included multiple surgeries.

On Aug. 24, he succumbed to his injuries in Houston following a surgery.

Godinez is also accused of shooting at two Edinburg police officers in the 1500 block of South Maltese in Edinburg during an extensive manhunt.

Police arrested Godinez east of Mon Mack Road and State Highway 107.

Those officers were not hit and police recovered a .357 magnum authorities say Godinez used in the shooting.

He remains jailed on $3 million in bonds.