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No Death Penalty Trial For McAllen Murder Suspect

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A McAllen man won’t face a death sentence when he stands trial for the abduction and murder of his ex-wife.

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office says it won’t seek the death penalty against Richard Ford who is accused of killing Melissa Banda in August of last year.

According to McAllen police, Ford defied a court order to stay away from his ex-wife and on the afternoon of August 6th, drove to her house and forced her into a rented SUV.  Police say he drove to a rural area north of Donna where he slashed her throat.

Investigators tracked the SUV to South Padre Island where Ford was arrested. The 41-year-old Ford remains jailed on charges of stalking, violating a protective order, and capital murder. A trial date has not yet been set.

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