Suspect in Zoey Zane Murder Case Ordered to Stand Trial

Aug 18, 2009 6:00 PM PST
EL DORADO, Kan. — A judge has ruled that the suspected murderer of college student and Internet sologirl Zoey Zane must stand trial. The suspect, Israel Mireles, pleaded not guilty today to the charges of capital murder, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy.

Zane’s past as an Internet model came up at the hearing today, but her classmate, Aurelia Resa, “cut the conversation off short because I didn't feel it was anybody's business,” she said.

The body of Emily Sander, aka Zoey Zane, was found little more than a week after she disappeared during Thanksgiving weekend 2007, 50 miles east of the town of El Dorado, Kan., where she was allegedly last seen leaving a bar with a man matching Mireles’ description, according to witness testimony.

The bar’s bouncer testified in court today that he saw Mireles and Sander leave together as did a community college classmate of Sander’s who identified Mireles in court as the man Sander left with.

The suspect, who fled and was extradited from Mexico, had been living in a local motel, where the hotel owner discovered Mireles’ room had been in a shambles and had evidence of blood spatter.

The story was widely publicized in the national press after it was discovered that the 18-year old Sander had briefly appeared on adult websites, including her own solo girl site.

Mireles faces life in prison without parole — but not the death penalty — because his extradition terms forbid it. The trial is expected to begin Nov. 2.

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