WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The defendant in an upcoming capital murder trial has been appointed a pair of public defenders.

Kacey Jennings, 29, is charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and theft of property in connection with the disappearance of Allison Maria Castro, 28, in September 2022. Fayetteville police spoke with Castro’s family and learned that Jennings and Castro were previously in a relationship and lived together.

Attorney Gregg Parrish will serve as Jennings’ lead counsel and he filed a notice of appearance with the Washington County circuit court on February 10. Co-counsel Scott Parks filed a similar notice on February 15.

Parks, the Chief Public Defender for the Northwest Arkansas Conflict Division, told KNWA/FOX24 that both attorneys are public defenders certified to try capital cases when there is a potential for the state to seek the death penalty.

Castro was reported as a missing person on September 19 after the family was unable to contact her. Police responded to a residence as Jennings was experiencing an apparent drug overdose.

Investigators then found “more information” that led them to “believe that the suspect in this case had possibly killed his ex-girlfriend,” according to Sgt. Tony Murphy of the Fayetteville Police Department.

Jennings entered a not guilty plea last fall. He is being held in the Washington County jail without bond and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 4.