Murder trial for Alejandro Rojas reset

Renton man accused of beating a woman to death near Blyn

Alejandro Jesse Aguilera-Rojas

Alejandro Jesse Aguilera-Rojas

PORT ANGELES — A murder trial for a Renton man accused of beating a woman to death near Blyn in February has been reset.

Alejandro Jesse Aguilera-Rojas, 23, had his three-week trial continued Friday from May 4 to Aug. 3.

Clallam County Superior Court remains open but trials have been postponed because of coronavirus precautions.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin said other factors led to the continuance.

“Covid-19 had a bit to do with it, however, it is a homicide case that just occurred a little over a month ago,” Devlin said in a Wednesday email.

“We are still in the process of exchanging discovery and awaiting results from the lab so neither party would have been ready to go to trial next month.”

Scientific evidence testing for the Rojas case is pending at the State Patrol crime and toxicology labs.

Several murder trials in Clallam County, including a quadruple murder from last July and a triple homicide that occurred in December 2018, have been delayed because of backlogs at the State Patrol labs, county Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols has said.

Rojas is being held in the Clallam County jail on $1 million bail.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden scheduled Friday a pre-trial status hearing for Rojas on June 19.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Rojas beat 21-year-old Dioneth Lopez to death with a tequila bottle while they were on a U.S. Forest Service Road south of Blyn on Feb. 11.

Lopez’s body was found in a wooded area three days later.

Investigators said Lopez had threatened to expose her three-year romantic relationship with Rojas, a married man, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Deputies were dispatched to an arterial off Forest Road 28 on Feb. 14 after a passerby reported seeing a woman who did not respond when the person called out.

“Upon arrival, deputies observed severe head trauma and multiple lacerations on the female, which led them to believe that she had died by homicide,” Clallam County Sheriff’s Detective Brandon Stoppani said in court papers.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

More in Crime

Shooter ruled insane at time of assault

Victims tell of trauma suffered

Minor injuries in prison fights

No staff hurt in Sunday incidents at Clallam Bay

Bail raised to $1 million for Port Townsend man

William Tomasi Leoso accused of shooting Sequim man, beating Carlsborg woman in separate incidents

Port Angeles police seek man who allegedly hit pedestrian

City police on Thursday were looking for a driver… Continue reading

Port Angeles man sentenced to jail for vehicular assault

A Port Angeles man has been sentenced to nine… Continue reading

Port Angeles man suspected of state park burglary

A Port Angeles man was arrested Tuesday in connection with… Continue reading

Port Townsend man accused of beating Sequim woman

William Tomasi Leoso held on $500,000 bail

Police discover remains of 79-year-old woman

Son did not understand his mother had died

Suspects arrested for allegedly stealing credit cards

Arraignment scheduled Friday in Clallam County Superior Court

Renton man charged in federal court with tequila bottle murder

Investigators: Alejandro Aguilera Rojas beat, stabbed Dioneth Lopez