FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Text messages will be used as evidence in the trial for a U.S. Air Force airman charged in the death of a New Mexico school teacher. Coconino County Superior Court Judge Cathleen Brown Nichols ruled Friday that text messages exchanged between the suspect, Mark Gooch, and his brothers can be introduced as evidence.

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Gooch faces up to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in last year’s death of Sasha Krause, a Mennonite woman from a small community near Farmington. The prosecution says those texts show Gooch had disdain for the Mennonite community.

But Gooch’s attorney claims it was just banter among siblings. The three-week trial starts on September 21.