ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The trial for a teachers assistant accused of strangling his fiancé to death was expected to begin Monday, but the state is asking for a delayed start after one of their witnesses tested positive for COVID.

Jeremiah Lopez is accused of strangling his fiancé, Krishauna Perez, then sexually assaulting her body back in 2019. Police say all of this came after Lopez accused her of being unfaithful at the couple’s home near Coors and Bridge. Police say he ended up calling 911 long after she was dead and telling them what he had done. According to court documents, Lopez tried to kill himself in multiple ways before he called police. 

Lopez was an educational assistant at Mark Twain Elementary School at the time of the crime. Monday, the state said one of their witnesses, the doctor who performed the autopsy on Perez, tested positive for COVID. The state asked for a delay to discus the possibility of the witness appearing remotely, or possibly finding a replacement witness. The defense cited concerns over his client’s right to cross-examine the witness. The district attorney’s office said openings are now expected to begin Tuesday.