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Ajo man faces hearing before upcoming murder trial

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A southern Arizona man who allegedly killed a 7-year-old girl in 2009 faces a hearing soon to determine if he's eligible for the death penalty when he stands trial in September.

Loretto ``Kyle'' Alegria is accused of raping, beating and fatally stabbing Rhia Almeida when she came to his Ajo home to visit his little brother in June 2009.

Prosecutors offered the 23-year-old Alegria a plea agreement in February 2011 that would've taken the death penalty off the table.

Alegria rejected the deal and a Pima County Superior Court judge deemed Alegria incompetent to stand trial last April.

The Arizona Daily Star says Alegria has spent the last 10 months in a restoration program and has an April 1 hearing. His trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 10.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

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