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Restaurant Slaying Suspect Due In Court

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — The suspect in the slaying of a Burger King worker is due in court in Frederick.

The scheduling conference for Jose Mejia-Varela is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Frederick County Circuit Court.

He is charged with first-degree murder in the March 2011 shooting of Jacinta “Patty” Ayala. She was killed during an apparent robbery as she opened the restaurant on East Patrick Street.

Mejia-Varela is in federal custody, serving a 39-month sentence for re-entering the country illegally after he was deported to El Salvador in 2009.

He is represented by the capital defense division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in case prosecutors decide to seek the death penalty in the case.

His trial is set for March.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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