Fort Worth

Jury Selection Underway for Man Charged in Arlington Severed Heads Case

Hector "El Cholo" Acosta Ojeda is accused of killing two people in 2017

Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of killing and dismembering two people in Arlington.

Hector "El Cholo" Acosta-Ojeda, 30, was arrested and charged in the murders of 27-year-old Erick "Diablo" Zelaya and his 17-year-old girlfriend Iris Chirinos in July 2017.

The dismembered bodies of Zelaya and Chirinos were discovered in shallow graves behind a home at 202 Burton Drive. Zelaya's severed head was discovered about a quarter-mile away.

A note written in Spanish was found next to the head and referenced disloyalty to a group.

Another man, Mariano Sanchez-Pina, was also arrested for the murders of Zelaya and Chirinos. He was first arrested on an unrelated warrant, but police said he later gave detectives information about Zelaya's murder.

Sanchez-Pina told police that Acosta-Ojeda had called him to a house and claimed that Zelaya was already dead when he arrived. He later changed his story, saying that he had been present for Zelaya's murder. He was indicted on a charge of tampering with physical evidence. His trial is pending.

Testimony in the Arlington capital murder case against Acosta-Ojeda is set to begin next month.

Acosta-Ojeda has also been charged in a 2017 killing in Fort Worth. He and another man, Felipe Eduardo Ortiz, were indicted in the robbery and killing of Triston Ray Algiene in February 2018.

Algiene's body was discovered beneath the foundation of a vacant home on the 6400 block of Woodway Drive. His body has been cut in half and was badly decomposed, and it took months for him to be identified.

Police believe that all of the killings were related to drugs and money.

The Fort Worth capital murder case against Acosta-Ojeda is pending.

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