SAN ANTONIO – A trial scheduling order has been released in the capital murder case of Otis McKane, who is accused of killing San Antonio police Detective Benjamin Marconi.
McKane, 35, is accused of shooting Marconi to death at point blank range as Marconi sat in his patrol car outside police headquarters on Nov. 20, 2017. McKane was arrested the following day and charged with capital murder.
The district attorney plans to seek the death penalty for McKane. His trial is set to begin on April 27.
The first pretrial hearing is set for Jan. 24.
“They’re the most complex criminal cases that we deal with,” said regional administrative Judge Sid Harle, who is a veteran attorney that has served as both prosecutor and judge in death penalty cases.
The hearings will be followed by a lengthy jury selection process in which jurors will be interviewed individually after completing questionnaires.
“You know their feelings about the death penalty,” Harle said. “You know the chances of them being able to qualify based upon their beliefs.”
Jury selection could take up to six weeks.
Defense attorney Paul Goeke, though not involved in the McKane case, was the defense attorney in the Mark Gonzalez death penalty case.
Gonzalez was sentenced to death for the execution-style shooting of Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kenneth Vann in 2011.
Goeke said that the lengthy pretrial process is justified, given the high life or death stakes.
“It gets the kind of attention that you would expect it would get, and that’s time, time, time,” he said.