Zoe Zane Murder Suspect Faces Judge

EL DORADO, Kan. — A judge heard pretrial oral arguments Tuesday in connection with the murder of Internet solo girl Zoey Zane.

The attorney for Israel Mireles, who has been charged with capital murder, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy, has filed a motion to dismiss the capital murder charge in exchange for a first-degree murder charge.

The body of Zane was found little more than a week after she disappeared during Thanksgiving weekend 2007, 50 miles east of the town of El Dorado, Kan., where she was allegedly last seen leaving a bar with a man matching Mireles’ description, according to witness testimony.

Zane’s birth name was Emily Sander.

The bar’s bouncer testified in court that he saw Mireles and Zane leave together as did a community college classmate of Sander’s who identified Mireles in court as the man Sander left with.

The suspect, who fled and was extradited from Mexico, had been living in a local motel, where the hotel owner discovered Mireles’ room had been in a shambles and had evidence of blood spatter.

Mireles faces life in prison without parole — but not the death penalty — because his extradition terms forbid it.

His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 8.