McAllen man accused of killing ex-wife inches closer to trial

1 month 3 weeks 8 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2024 Feb 22, 2024 February 22, 2024 8:07 PM February 22, 2024 in News - Local

Jury selection in the trail of a man charged with murder in connection with the 2020 murder of his ex-wife is set to begin on Friday. 

Richard Ford was arrested in August 2020 and accused of kidnapping and killing his ex-wife, Melissa Banda.

Witnesses say they saw Ford force Banda into a white Dodge SUV hours before her body was found near Donna, auhtorities said.

Banda had a protective order against Ford. Investigators tracked him to South Padre Island and arrested him there.

READ MORE: McAllen man charged with aggravated kidnapping after ex-wife's death

Ford’s defense attorneys attempted to throw out evidence related to previous incidents, including a police interview where Ford allegedly admitted to trying to suffocate Banda months prior to her death.

Defense attorneys argued the evidence would confuse jurors. 

On Tuesday, 206th District Court Judge Rose Guerra Reyna granted the defense’s request to separate each count ford is facing, meaning he will have four jury trials in connection with Banda’s death.

Ford also faces charges of assault, violating a protective order and stalking.

Court records indicate ford’s murder trial is set to begin on Monday, Feb. 26. 

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