- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - A tentative trial date has been set for a man accused of fatally shooting a Maricopa couple last year and burying their bodies in his backyard.

The Casa Grande Dispatch (https://bit.ly/2avlkeG) reports that a Pinal County Superior Court judge Wednesday set Jose Ignacio Valenzuela’s trial to possibly begin on Jan. 23, 2018.

Valenzuela is facing first-degree murder charges in the deaths of 44-year-old Michael Careccia and 42-year-old Tina Careccia. The airline pilot and his accountant wife were reported missing in June 2015.

Their bodies were later discovered after authorities unearthed a 6-foot-deep grave on Valenzuela’s property in Maricopa, about 35 miles south of Phoenix.

State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. But Valenzuela’s lawyers are challenging alleged aggravating circumstances that otherwise make the case eligible for capital punishment.



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Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.

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