New trial denied for man convicted of killing Tucson girl

A judge has denied a new trial for a man convicted in the first of two murder cases in Tucson.

Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner ruled Monday that the prosecutors’ case was still strong enough to leave the conviction in place.

He also denied a defense motion for judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict.

Christopher Clements was convicted Sept. 30 of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez.

Christopher Clements

He’s scheduled to be sentenced Monday and is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lawyers for Clements also sought a change of venue for their client’s other murder trial, scheduled to be heard by a new jury starting Feb. 2 involving the death of 6-year-old Isabel Celis.

Clements, a 40-year-old convicted sex offender with a long criminal record, was arrested in 2018 and indicted on 22 felony counts including two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the girls’ deaths.

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