LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The man accused of a triple murder in the Panhandle remained jailed in Lubbock County Monday night. A Lubbock County Jury was scheduled to hear opening statements in the capital murder trial of Levi King, 26 Monday morning, but the judge granted a delay, because the defense is still awaiting DNA test results.
Both sides are under a gag order, so we don't know exactly what the tests involve. We do know complete results are expected in about a week. King's trial will remain on hold until those results are available.
He's been housed in Lubbock County since late June. Just days before his transfer from Gray County, the county judge told an Amarillo TV station the state had already spent more than $340,000 on the trial, but added cost should not overshadow justice.
25-days after King's 22nd birthday, authorities say he killed two people in the small, southwest Missouri town of Pineville. Hours later, and 450-miles away investigators say he fatally shot Brian Conrad, his pregnant wife Michelle and her son Zach Doan inside their home south of Pampa.
First responders discovered their bodies the next day, after Michelle's 10-year-old daughter called 911. It has not been revealed how she escaped the killings, and it's not known if she'll testify in King's trial.
Investigators report they have not found any connection between King and the Panhandle victims. The Conrad's home sat just ten miles north of Interstate-40. Some speculate King took I-40 on his way to the Mexico border. That's where border patrol busted him the same day of the Panhandle discovery.
Investigators say King was driving a truck that belonged to one of the Missouri victims. Authorities found loaded weapons, and a name tag of Brian Conrad's in the vehicle.
King pleaded guilty to the Missouri killings in exchange for a life sentence. Monday, he stood silently during his arraignment at the Lubbock County Courthouse. In this trial, King faces the death penalty.
If convicted, the Texas punishment trumps Missouri's. King's trial will resume as soon as the DNA test results are complete.
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A Lubbock jury anticipated hearing opening statements today in the 2005 murder trial of a Pampa family but the case has been delayed. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little was in the courtroom for day one and has details.