Bessman Okafor home invasion trial delayed
Updated On: Jun 03 2013 12:56:11 PM EDT
Jury selection in the home invasion trial for the man accused of breaking into an Ocoee home in May 2012-- and later allegedly shot and killed a witness-- has been postponed on Monday.
Prosecutors say Bessman Okafor and another man broke into the Ocoee home in May 2012, demanded money and drugs and battered the victims. Months later, Okafor, who was on home confinement, killed one of the witnesses slated to testify against him in the home invasion trial after bribe attempts failed.
Two other victims were expected to testify in the trial against Okafor the day after 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar's shooting death.
The judge said on Monday more time was needed to review evidence in the home invasion case. It's not clear when the trial will begin again, but prosecutors tell Local 6 they estimate in a few months.
Okafor faces several life sentences if he's convicted. The trial for Okafor's capital murder charge is scheduled for 2014.
Rafael Zaldivar tells Local 6 he is on a mission to get justice for his son, Alex.
"He (Okafor) wants to be famous, which is fine with me," Rafael Zaldivar said. "I'll make him famous. I'll make his whole family famous next year and the next ten years after he's executed."
Zaldivar's death prompted an overhaul into the Orange County Corrections home confinement program, which was suspended after it was discovered Okafor was sentenced to home confinement but wasn't being properly monitored.
"I'm dealing with not only these cases but with Orange County as well with their buffoonery," Rafael Zaldivar said. "They failed my son. Alex never had a chance to live-wasn't going to make it. Never had a chance."
The head of Orange County Corrections Michael Tidwell, along with Deputy Director of Corrections Jill Hobbs, have both resigned in wake of the controversy. Garnett Ahern, the unit supervisor for the county's home confinement program, announced her retirement just weeks after an internal investigation found that she was among the responsible for the lack of monitoring Okafor.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.