Trial Begins for Marine Suspected of Killing UNT Student

The trial of a 21-year-old U.S. Marine accused of fatally shooting a University of North Texas student is set to begin in Denton Monday.

Police said 20-year-old Sara Mutschlechner left a party with three people Jan. 1 when a gray Honda SUV drove up next to them.

Police said sexually offensive words were exchanged between people in the vehicles before someone in the SUV fired a gun at the sedan, striking Mutschlechner in the head.

Mutschlechner — a UNT film major — died later that day and was laid to rest in her hometown near Austin.

Marine Cpl. Eric Jamal Johnson was arrested Jan. 5 in Yuma, Arizona after authorities said he admitted to shooting Mutschlechner.

The U.S. Marine Corps issued a statement after Johnson's arrest saying he had been "administratively separated from the Marine Corps under other than honorable conditions."

Authorities said Johnson was arraigned on a murder charge and his bond was set at $1 million. His trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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