SANTA FE, Texas (FOX 26) - The trial for the admitted Santa Fe High School shooter will be held in Fort Bend County next January.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis is accused of killing eight students and two teachers, and injuring 13 others in the May 18, 2018 massacre.
TIMELINE: What happened that horrific day
Galveston County District Judge John Ellisor announced the new trial location on Friday afternoon
Judge Ellisor approved the change of venue back in February. The defense team felt that their defendant wouldn't be able to get a fair trial in Galveston County.
The new venue is 77-miles away from court room door to court room door with a county between them, the judge said in a court hearing Friday.
The defense attorney isn't thrilled the trial will remain in the same media market.
But at least one victim's family member told FOX 26 she’s glad it will happen at a place to which she can drive.
“I feel a little relief knowing that it’s not going to be so far away,” said Sonia Lopez.
Lopez's daughter Sarah Salazar was a sophomore in art class back on when she was shot several times by a boy she didn’t know.
Lopez shared photos of Sarah in the hospital today and yesterday, when shotgun pellets were removed from her body, the latest in a series of surgeries.
“They removed four yesterday—one behind the jaw, one in her tongue, one in her chest, and one behind the lung.”
Sonia was one of a group of victim family members who watched as the teen appeared in court on a video screen.
The Santa Fe High School mass shooting suspect (right) appeared via video at Galveston County Courthouse today where the judge announced his trial in the murder of ten people will begin January 23, 2020 in Fort Bend County. pic.twitter.com/djDXcu9WoT— Ivory Hecker FOX 26 (@IvoryHecker) June 21, 2019
The defense team spoke after the hearing.
“We have not at this point locked in on that as a strategy, not have we given any notice to the state to that effect,” defense attorney Nick Poehl said.
The defense said the admitted shooter has undergone several mental health evaluations.
Court document show that Pagourtzis may be seeking an insanity defense against the capital murder charges.
Documents filed on June 6 will allow prosecutors to evaluate Pagourtzis by their own experts.
The trial date has been set for January 23, 2020, and is expected to last four to six weeks.