Courts building

People walk up the stairs of the Denton County Courts Building. A jury trial in the capital murder case against Daniel Greco is scheduled to begin Monday morning.

Investigators found her body along a trail in Little Elm one morning in March 2016. It looked like she had been stabbed around the neck, according to an arrest affidavit. When they checked inside the woman’s purse, investigators found identification for Anjanette Harris and a sonogram photo. She was pregnant.

Daniel Edward Greco

Daniel Greco

More than three years later, a jury trial will begin Monday morning for Daniel Greco. The 38-year-old from Little Elm is accused of killing Harris and her unborn child. Authorities say Greco and Harris dated for two years before the killing but that Greco denied being the child's father.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have worked since early July to select the 12 jurors and their alternates. The trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday inside Judge Jonathan Bailey’s 431st District Court.

Greco is charged with capital murder. If he is convicted, the Denton County District Attorney’s Office has said it will seek the death penalty — the first time it has done so since 2011.

Throughout the pretrial phase, Greco’s defense attorneys have challenged the state with this underlying question: Why is this murder case the one in which the district attorney has chosen to seek the death penalty?

“It strikes us as odd,” said Derek Adame, Greco’s lead attorney. “We believe there are significant evidentiary problems for the district attorney’s office that they’re going to have to overcome.”

The defense made several motions as it sought to get that question answered. Among those motions was one to dismiss the entire case. In that one, the attorneys, Adame and Caroline Simone, argued that the doctor who did the autopsy did not properly keep and document biological evidence that was critical to understanding how Harris received the stab wounds.

“We would have had more evidence available to us for our experts to analyze,” Adame said Tuesday. “They basically made it impossible to check their work by destroying evidence.”

Judge Bailey ultimately denied that motion.

A Texas Ranger wrote in the original arrest warrant affidavit that Greco told investigators he bound Harris’ feet and hands and slapped duct tape over her mouth, something he said they did normally during their two-year relationship. Next he wrapped a “piece of rubber material” around Harris’ neck, the document shows.

Greco said he new Harris was pregnant at the time, police reported.

Greco told investigators he knew Harris was dead after she stopped breathing, her eyes no longer moving, police reported. He then put her body in the bed of his truck.

Authorities found video of Greco's truck driving toward the area where she was found and shortly after driving back — with the tailgate dropped — toward his residence.

In picking the jurors, Adame said it was important to root out anyone who betrayed a bias in favor of law enforcement or the death penalty. He said his team is satisfied with the people chosen to sit on the jury.

“We think they’re going to be abundantly fair and give us every opportunity to present our case,” Adame said.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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