Will Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, 24, stand trial in the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend Valerie Reyes, 24? His federal case was postponed for the seventh time, according to Rockland/Westchester Journal News. The defendant is scheduled for another federal hearing to take place Sept. 25 in White Plains, New York.
“Given the serious nature of the charges — the defendant would be death eligible under the statute — the Government and the defense are collecting information and analyzing evidence to determine the next step for the case,” according to court documents obtained by the news outlet.
Both sides are negotiating a possible plea deal. Da Silva is charged with one count of kidnapping resulting death. If convicted, he faces death or life in prison. The Department of Justice said in February that he’s the person responsible for Reyes going missing in late January. The victim was found on February 5, in a suitcase alongside a road in Greenwich, Connecticut.
According to the criminal complaint, Reyes’ family members said that she dated a “Javier” but ended the relationship the previous year. Investigators said they identified him in part by using a drawing found at the victim’s home in New Rochelle, New York. They believe this drawing was of Da Silva.
The defendant allegedly said that he had sex with the victim at her home on January 29, but claimed that she fell and hit her head. According to authorities, he said he put packing tape on her mouth, bound her legs and hands, and put her in the suitcase. He allegedly admitted to dumping her corpse in a forest.
[Image via ABC News Screengrab]