A jury of seven men and five women was set Wednesday for the death penalty case involving a Calipatria State Prison inmate who killed another inmate by using a "shank" in 1998.
Opening statements in the Louis Gomez case are expected Tuesday in the County Courthouse in El Centro.
Initially, Superior Court Judge James Harmon agreed to a motion by Gomez's defense team to continue the case until February.
However, defense attorneys John Breeze and Chris Plourd of El Centro submitted a new motion calling for the judge to strike their previous motion and allow the trial to start.
The trial, which Deputy District Attorney Karla Davis estimated could take two months, will start Tuesday after a five-month process to select a jury.
The difficulty in finding a jury was because those who would serve as jurors had to be "death-qualified," which means they had to be found suitable to hear a case in which they could face having to decide whether Gomez will face the death penalty if found guilty.