Retrial in killing of 6-year-old Isabel Celis set for later this year

A new trial date was set to retry the convicted murderer accused of kidnapping and killing Isabel Celis, a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her bedroom 11 years ago in Tucson.

When is the trial?

The retrial for Christopher Clements, 41, is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. on September 12 at the Pima County Superior Court in Tucson, the court said during a hearing Tuesday. He faces three charges related to Isabel's death and disappearance, including first-degree murder, burglary and kidnapping a minor under 15.

The retrial is slated to run for four weeks ending on Oct. 6, the court estimated. A back-up date for the trial was scheduled for Feb. 6 if needed.

Who is Isabel Celis?

Isabel was a 6-year-old girl who lived with her brothers and parents in Tucson. On the night of April 20, 2012, she went to bed and was never seen alive again.

In 2017, Clements told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he knew where her body was buried. In return for authorities dropping unrelated charges, Clements said he would tell them where she was located. He led them to a remote desert area in Marana, where her remains were found.

Why is Clements facing a second trial?

Clements faced a jury in February for these same three charges, but the jury remained deadlocked and could not agree on the first-degree murder charge. Judge James Marner declared it a mistrial.

Wasn't Clements convicted in another murder trial?

In September, Clements was also charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez who disappeared the evening of June 3, 2014, when she walked to a friend’s house

Clements was sentenced with natural life in prison for first-degree murder and a 17-year prison term for kidnapping the teenage victim, which will be served consecutively.

Coverage of southern Arizona on and in The Arizona Republic is funded by the nonprofit Report for America in association with The Republic.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Retrial in killing of 6-year-old Isabel Celis set for later this year