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Rodriguez prelim

Gilberto Rodriguez speaks with his attorney, Keith Roark, Friday, April 26, during his preliminary hearing in Cassia County Magistrate Court on first-degree murder charges.

BURLEY — A jury trial is set for next spring for the man accused of killing Regina Krieger in 1995.

The trial for Gilberto Flores Rodriguez, 56, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 20 in Cassia County District Court.

Rodriguez is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Krieger, who was 14 when she disappeared from her Burley basement bedroom. Krieger’s body was found on the banks of the Snake River. Officials said she had been stabbed in the heart and her throat had been slit.

Rodriguez was arrested earlier this year after a witness came forward and testified in magistrate court about being with Rodriguez when he killed and dumped the girl’s body in the river and another witness said Rodriguez talked about Regina’s murder afterward.

Rodriguez was bound over to district court in May after the magistrate judge found the witnesses believable, although one admitted to previously lying under oath in court.

Rodriguez’s attorney, Keith Roark, asked the court to disqualify alternate Judge Cheri Copsey without cause, which was granted by the court, court records say.

Cassia County District Judge Michael Tribe asked the Fifth District administrative judge to appoint a new alternate judge to oversee all the district court proceedings, which has not yet been done.

On June 20, Rodriguez waived his right to a speedy trial.

Jury questionnaires will be sent out to 1,000 jurors.

In the magistrate preliminary hearing, a witness said Rodriguez entered Krieger’s basement bedroom, which had an outside entrance, and came out of the house carrying her body wrapped in a bloody blanket. The witness said Rodriguez stopped at a Burley residence and cleaned up and then they drove to a Minidoka County bridge, where the witness helped Rodriguez dump Krieger’s body.

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