Jury selection starts for McAllen woman's accused killer in New York

A man accused of killing McAllen native Laura Garza after she left a Manhattan nightclub is expected back in court this week.

Michael Mele appeared in an Orange County, New York courtroom for jury selection on Monday.

The 26-year-old sex offender is accused in the death of Rio Grande Valley native Laura Garza.

The 25-year-old McAllen woman had moved to New York City with hopes of becoming a dancer but disappeared back in December 2008.

Garza was last seen at a Manhattan nightclub with Mele.

Authorities found her body in a Pennsylvania field a year and a half later.

With all the media attention this case has been getting in three different states, defense attorney Craig Brown is being very careful with who he puts in the jury box.

"We're pre-screening jurors to see whether or not we can get a panel which is sufficient to commence jury selection, Brown told reporters.

According to the defense, evidence will be presented two weeks from now.

Authorities said Mele had to register as a sex offender after exposing and touching himself in a mall parking lot.