THE LAURA GARZA MURDER CASE: Juror Pre-Screening Continues for Sex Offender’s Upcoming Trial

January 13, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Michael MeleORANGE COUNTY — As Brooklyn and the rest of the country continue to await the upcoming trial of a sex offender charged with killing a Bay Ridge woman, officials in Upstate New York continue to pre-screen potential jurors in the highly publicized case.


Laura Garza, 25, an aspiring dancer who moved from Texas to Brooklyn just months before she disappeared, was last seen laughing and kissing sex offender Michael Mele, 26, in his SUV in Newburgh, N.Y. The two had met hours earlier at the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea in December 2008. 


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Garza’s skeleton turned up in a field near Scranton, Pa., over a year later.


Mele, who was jailed immediately after Garza vanished, for sex-offender registry violations and credit-card crimes, was then indicted for Garza’s murder.


Actual jury selection is expected to begin on Tuesday. Expecting that to last a week, the trial of Mele should begin Jan. 23 in Orange County Court in Goshen, N.Y.


—Ryan Thompson

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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