McKINNEY, Texas - A jury of seven men and seven women were picked to decide the fate of the man accused of kidnapping Christina Morris.
Enrique Arochi is facing aggravated kidnapping charges for Morris’ 2014 disappearance. If convicted, he could get any from probation to a life sentence.
Surveillance video shows Arochi walking with Morris in a parking garage at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. Police said Morris’ DNA was later found in the trunk of his’s car, but her body was never found.
The defense said based on a questionnaire, about 65 to 70 percent of the potential jurors had heard about the case or researched it prior to being summoned. But when asked, most said they would hold the state to proving the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Despite several potential jurors claiming to have already come to a conclusion, one woman who was not picked for the jury said she didn’t think it was too hard for attorneys to find people who are fair and unbiased.
“I don’t think they had a difficult time because people are optimistic and open minded about the process,” she said.
After the jury was seated, the judge asked the prosecution to get its witnesses ready.
Christina's parents and step parents stormed out of the courtroom because the judge would not allow them to stay after being sworn in as witnesses, saying after they exited that they'd been disruptive in other pretrial hearings.
Prosecutors laid out their case and said there are three things the jury would need to remember: surveillance video showing Arochi walking with Christina before she went missing, cell phone pings from both of their phones from the same locations the morning she went missing, and Christina's DNA being found inside his vehicle.
The defense said one challenge going into the trial was finding an impartial jury.
In opening statements, the defense showed the jury multiple text messages between Christina and her boyfriend referencing the drugs they were trying to get for themselves or friends the night they were partying before her disappearance.
Attorneys also floated several other possible theories about what could have happened to her that night, including a suspicious green car and a driver reported in the garage.
And finally, the defense pointed out that the DNA found in the trunk was not from blood evidence.
The trial resumes Friday morning at 8:30.