ELMORE COUNTY -- A man accused of killing his girlfriend and her two children then fleeing to Mexico entered a plea in an Elmore County courtroom Monday afternoon.
Jorge Alberto Lopez-Orozco was accused of committing that crime back in 2002 when the bodies of 29-year-old Rebecca Ramirez and her two young sons, aged 2 and 4 were found burned in a car outside Mountain Home.
In court Monday, Lopez-Orozco pleaded not guilty to three counts of first degree murder.According to prosecutors, Lopez-Orozco fled the country after the crime in 2002. He was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2005 and four years later, in 2009 he was captured in Mexico.
After negotiations with the Mexican Government, Lopez-Orozco was brought back to Elmore County in March. Monday s plea of not guilty means the case will now go before a jury.
Lopez-Orozco's defense attorney says preparing for this trial after nine years will be difficult.
Some people have died, some people have been deported, some people have voluntarily left the country. Tracking down witnesses is going to be tough for both sides, said Terry Ratliff, Lopez-Orozco s Defense Attorney.
The trial is now set for February 6th; it s expected to last about a month.
As part of an agreement with the Mexican Government the Elmore County prosecutor had to waive the right to seek the death penalty in order to get him back to the U.S.