A judge Tuesday set an early January trial date for a former LAPD officer charged with murdering a 23-year-old man during an off-duty run-in in Pomona more than 4 1/2 years ago.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry told attorneys that questionnaires will be handed out to prospective jurors on Jan. 6 -- or within five days of that date -- in the case of Henry Solis.
The 32-year-old former officer and ex-Marine is charged with one count each of murder and assault with a firearm, along with gun allegations, in connection with the March 13, 2015, shooting death of Salome Rodriguez Jr.
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Police said Solis and Rodriguez got involved in a confrontation that spilled into the street, ending in gunfire.
Solis, who worked at the LAPD's Devonshire Division in the San Fernando Valley, was off-duty that night. He was fired soon after becoming the subject of an extensive manhunt.
His father drove Solis out of state and later told federal authorities that he had simply dropped his son off at a Texas bus stop, but the pair were caught on surveillance video walking across the Mexico border, authorities said.
FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola said Solis was "moved from one house to another" to help him avoid capture.
Solis was arrested in May 2015 by Mexican authorities in the border city of Juarez and deported to the United States. He had been staying with relatives in the Juarez area prior to his arrest, FBI officials said.
At a March 2015 hearing in which Solis was ordered to stand trial, one of his roommates testified that the rookie officer was drunk that night and that he told her, "I killed somebody."
Laura Rosales testified at that hearing that Solis called her at 3:35 a.m. March 13 and asked her to pick him up at O'Donovan's, a bar on Third Street, then called her back and told her to meet him on a residential street about six blocks away from the bar.
"He got into the car ... he smelled like alcohol. I could tell he was drunk," she testified.
When she tried to drive home the most direct route, down Garey Avenue, "he grabbed my steering wheel" and told her to take another way home, the witness said.
"He just seemed like he was a little bit out of breath, he seemed like a little bit paranoid,'' Rosales said.
She said Solis kept repeating that he had messed up, using a expletive, and threatened to kill himself. Then, standing in their kitchen, he told her, "I killed somebody," Rosales testified.
"I said, 'Stop! You. No, you didn't,'" Rosales said.
Solis' father, Victor, was convicted by a federal jury in El Paso of lying to the FBI about helping his son escape. He was sentenced to three years probation and fined $1,000.