Terrance Black's request to have his trial moved from Collin County was denied Monday morning.
Black, 49, is accused of abducting and killing his ex-girlfriend Susan Loper, a single mother and fitness instructor from Frisco, in April of last year. He then fled the state and jumped into the Grand Canyon to avoid being captured by rangers from the U.S. Park Service.
His defense team asked a judge to move his trial out of Collin County because they believe he can't get a fair trial due to local publicity in the case.
The motion to move the trial was denied, but the judge said the motion will remain open pending jury selection to see if a fair panel can be selected.
Meantime, the judge granted a gag order in the case preventing attorneys for the state and the defense from talking about the case outside of the courtroom.
The jury trial is set for mid-August.
NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.