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Status hearing held in Joseph Tejeda murder trial

Tejeda accused of killing Breanna Wood in 2017.
Joseph Tejeda
Theodore Allen
Posted at 2:45 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 23:21:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A status hearing was held Thursday morning in the capital murder case of Joseph Tejeda.

Tejeda is accused of killing his girlfriend Breanna Wood in 2017.

Wood was reported missing in October 2016. Months later, her body was found inside an abandoned house near Bluntzer. Her body had been placed in a box and wrapped in plastic.

Officials later said Wood had been shot.

During Thursday's hearing Nueces County Assistant District Attorney Angelica Hernandez said Tejeda's trial could take up to six weeks and would require thousands of people to be summoned to jury duty.

Because this trial is a large one, Judge Jack Pulcher said the Supreme Court would have to open up the court for this kind of trial. So for now, they'll have to wait for further guidance.

Before the pandemic, Tejeda's trail had been delayed several times because the prosecution was awaiting DNA evidence tests to return.

On Thursday, both parties told Judge Pulcher they are ready to go to trial. But because of the concerns with large trials, both parties will meet again in 45 days.

Another new development in Thursday's hearing emerged as one of the eight people charged in this case died while in jail.

Theodore Allen was charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, in connection with Wood's death.

According to an online obituary, Allen died in August 2020. According to the Texas Attorney General's office, Allen died of natural causes.

As for Tejeda, District Attorney Mark Gonzalez said in December 2017 he will seek the death penalty in Tejeda's case.

Documents reveal that Tejeda asked Pulcher to enable his parents to be able to visit him in jail to celebrate his 30th birthday last year

Due to the severity of the case -- he has been charged in the 2017 murder of Wood -- Tejeda has not been able to have any contact with them.

Tejeda writes in the letter that he would be "willing to to accept any reasonable restrictions to afford me the opportunity to hug his mother and father."

The prisoner states the separation has caused "surmounted (sic) stress on my father and mother as well as myself."

The notice was received and filed by the District Clerk's office on Jan. 26.