Three men charged in connection to a gruesome murder in the Woolen Mills area are heading to trial.
Walter Antonio Argueta Amaya, Juan Carlos Argueta, Jose Luis Escobar-Umana, and Eduardo Zelaya had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Marvin Rivera-Guevara.
May 4, a grand jury upgraded those charges to first-degree murder, abduction, murder by mob, and criminal street gang participation.
June 4, a judge in Albemarle Circuit Court set trial dates for all of the suspects except Zelaya.
Argueta and Amaya appeared in-person, while Escobar-Umana was not transported to the courtroom for Monday’s motions hearing.
The judge granted a motion to nolle prosse the second-degree murder charge against Amaya, meaning the commonwealth is suspending its efforts to prosecute the defendant on that charge.
Rivera-Guevara's body was discovered in a creek on July 4, 2017. Investigators believe that some of the suspects may have affiliation with MS-13, an international criminal organization formed in Los Angeles during the 1980s.
A four-day jury trial for Escobar-Umana is scheduled to start on August 20, while Amaya’s trial is set to get underway on August 24.
Argueta's jury trial will get underway September 4.
A trial date for Zelaya has not yet been set. He is due in court Wednesday, June 6.
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