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Jury selection begins for taxi driver slaying case
Trials for 2 defendants expected in next 2 weeks
Misty-Moran
Misty Moran

A panel of 50 prospective jurors entered Hall County Superior Court Judge Jason Deal’s courtroom Monday morning to be seated for the murder case involving the death of a Gainesville taxi driver.

Margarita Leanos, 28, of Gainesville, appeared Monday with her attorney Lee Parks as the jury panel filed into the courtroom. Leanos was initially charged felony murder with four co-defendants in the shooting death of Isaias Tovar-Murillo, 46.

Tovar-Murillo’s body was found March 16 in the woods near Barrett and Dorsey Peek roads in Gainesville.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office authorities previously told The Times they believe the incident was related to an attempted armed robbery.

Nicholas Allen Gonzalez, 24, Justin John Adams, 22, and Ignacio Mondragon, 21, all of Gainesville, pleaded guilty in August to a lesser charge of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and violation of the Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act.

Adams and Mondragon received 30-year sentences with half of those years to be served in prison. Gonzalez was sentenced to 25 years and is expected to serve the first 13 years in confinement.

The fifth co-defendant, Misty Moran, 39, of Gainesville, did not agree to the August plea deal. A representative from Deal’s office said the plan is to select juries for the cases of Leanos and Moran to be held this week and next week.

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