Voir Dire Begins For Sex Offender Charged With Killing Bay Ridge Woman

GOSHEN, N.Y. (AP) — The murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Brooklyn whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York.

Jury selection, or voir dire, is expected to continue today in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her skeleton was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa.

Garza had moved to Shore Road in Bay Ridge from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance.

Mele has several sex-offense convictions in New York, most involving lewd conduct in front of women or girls.

January 10, 2012 - 12:41pm



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