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Accused cop killer's trial to be postponed amid coronavirus concerns

Otis McKane is charged with capital murder of detective Benjamin Marconi. The Bexar County District Attorney's Office said they will seek the death penalty.

SAN ANTONIO — The capital murder trial of the man accused of killing San Antonio police detective Benjamin Marconi in 2016 will be postponed for a month after judicial leaders on Friday suspended jury service and trials.

Judge Ron Rangel, the administrative district court judge who is also presiding over the case, initially said Otis McKane's trial would continue as scheduled but in a text message Friday afternoon, Rangel said he would suspend the trial for 30 days.

Jury selection, which can take several weeks, began in McKane's case last week. Rangel said they will pick up with the same panel after 30 days.

SAPD Det. Benjamin Marconi was killed in the line of duty Nov. 20, 2016.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said in 2019 he would pursue the death penalty in McKane's case.

"When I ran for District Attorney in 2018, I promised the citizens of Bexar County that I would seek the death penalty only in the worst of the worst cases. The facts of this case meet that standard. After months of reviewing all of the evidence in this case, as well as meeting with and considering the wishes of Detective Marconi's family, my capital crimes committee and I have elected to seek the death penalty. This decision was made after much debate about the options available to me and I believe that the cold and calculating nature of the defendant's conduct in this case deserves the death penalty." 

McKane is alleged to have killed Marconi in an ambush-style attack outside of San Antonio Police headquarters in November 2016. McKane confessed to killing Marconi, saying he was angry with the police for not helping with his custody battle. 

"Whatever motive was behind the shooting, it doesn't matter," Marconi's daughter, Jacy Lewis, said last week.

It was announced earlier in the day on Friday that all jury trials in Bexar County would be suspended until April 16. 

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