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Jury selection for El Centro officer’s trial expected to start soon

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On-duty officer accused of attacking romantic rival - CBS 13's Alexandra Rangel has the latest on the case

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - El Centro Police Officer Alejandra Sanchez Hurtado was back in court Monday morning.

Hurtado is accused of attacking a woman who allegedly was having an affair with her husband.

She's facing charges of assault and false imprisonment following the January incident.

Following a setback, due to the coronavirus, the prosecution finally declared ready in the Hurtado case pushing the case that much closer to a trial date.

In an attempt to buy more time, the prosecution asked for a continuance in the case Monday. It was not granted by the judge, leading both parties to declare ready in a case that should have gone to trial back in August.

Due to COVID-19 and other unforeseeable circumstances, the case was prolonged but Alejandra Sanchez Hurtado will soon be facing a jury.

Hurtado’s defense will have to prove that her actions were not made under the color of authority.

Hurtado is accused of attacking a woman who was reportedly having an affair with hurtado's husband sending the victim to the hospital.

The Jan. 3 incident happened while Hurtado was on duty and in uniform, but according to the defense, Hurtado was on a break between shifts.

Whether or not her actions are justified will be for a jury to decide.

According to the courts, selecting a jury won’t be smooth sailing.

“All of the jurors who have called in, which is a smaller number that has been calling in the last few weeks. I believe it’s because of the holidays and because of the issues involving covid. I anticipate sometime next week we’ll have a jury for you," said L. Brooks Aderholt, Imperial County Superior Court Judge.

To ensure a speedy trial for Hurtado Nov. 30 is the last day the court had to impanel a jury, but not enough jurors are currently showing up to the courts this is why judge Aderholt added a thirty-day extension to allow for a fair jury selection.

“The 30th is the last day, but the intent of the court at that time would be if necessary to trail it one day at a time. The 30 day period is not for the people, it is for the court. Sometime next week you will go out," said Anderholt.

Judge Aderholt said at least 55-60 jurors will be needed for jury selection but since there’s another trial currently going through the courts it’s unclear when a panel will be ready.

Both parties will be back in court next Monday in Department 9 at 8:00 a.m.

CBS 13's Alexandra Rangel continues her coverage of the case today on 13 On Your Side beginning at 3pm PSM/4pm MST.

Crime / Imperial County / Top Stories

Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel joined KSWT in March 2019 as a multimedia journalist.

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