Murder trial of Edward Romero put on hold for mental evaluation after jury was already seated

This will be Romero's third mental evaluation

DENVER - The jury was seated and opening statements were about to begin in a Denver murder trial but everything was put on hold Thursday. The judge decided to grant a defense request for their client to undergo another mental competency evaluation.

Edward Romero, now 28, is accused of shooting Alicia Martinez, 16, and dismembering her body two years ago. Since the beginning, the case has involved questions about whether Romero was insane.

Twice, doctors have said Romero knew right from wrong when the crime was committed. Still, the case is on hold until at least December when his sanity will again be discussed in court.

Police say Martinez had no apparent relationship with Romero. She disappeared after attending a party at his home in October of 2010.

Police searched for days, eventually finding her body in Romero's basement. The body was divided into four black garbage bags stored in a blue plastic tub.

According to an autopsy, she was shot twice in the head and her body was cut apart after she was dead.

Romero's girlfriend, Francesca Pagliasotti, is already serving 10 years for allegedly helping to commit the crime and clean up afterwards.

It was difficult to seat the jury, because the prosecutors warned potential jurors the trial would be intensely graphic.

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