- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A man is facing a new trial on charges he murdered a woman outside her apartment in Medford in 2013 in a case that likely cost a newly appointed judge his job in last November’s election.

The Mail Tribune (https://bit.ly/1ENFkhJ ) reports jury selection began Monday in the trial of Jose Valencia-Gaona, 46, of Medford, who is charged with murder in the 2013 stabbing of Maria Guadalupe Rodriguez.

The initial judge, Adam Peterson, was replaced after the defendant refused to grant him a waiver because the judge had been a prosecutor while the case was being developed, though he was not involved in the case. Then the replacement judge declared a mistrial after a juror was found to have been given a copy of the witness list.

The mistrial became an issue in the election, where former prosecutor David Hoppe unseated Peterson.

Judge Tim Barnack is now presiding. He took over the previous trial for Peterson, and declared the mistrial.

According to statements at the previous trial, Rodriguez was stabbed after a struggle with a man outside her apartment. The man tossed away the knife as he fled. Rodriguez stumbled into the apartment of a neighbor and was pronounced dead at the scene. Valencia-Gaona was arrested three days later, and DNA found on the handle of the knife matched his DNA.

Valencia-Gaona has been held without bail.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/


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