FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With courts at all levels across The Natural State reopening to begin 2023 on January 3, Northwest Arkansas is set to host several high-profile criminal trials.

All of the following trials are tentatively scheduled to begin this month. Start dates are subject to change by the respective court.

Kacey Jennings, Capital Murder, Washington County Circuit Court

Kacey Jennings, 29, and Allison Maria Castro, 28

The disappearance of Allison Maria Castro made headlines as multiple law enforcement agencies collaborated to attempt to find her after she was reported missing on September 19, 2022. Fayetteville police spoke with Castro’s family and learned that Jennings and Castro were previously in a relationship and lived together.

An investigation identified Jennings as a suspect and Sgt. Tony Murphy of the Fayetteville police department said that information indicated that Castro’s body was moved or disposed of. Jennings was charged with her murder, as well as abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and theft of property.

UPDATE: Washington County prosecutor Matthew Durrett said that Jennings has a pretrial status hearing scheduled for January 17 but that “It will probably be a while before it goes to trial.”

Hunter DeLaGarza, Rape, January 17, Benton County Circuit Court

Hunter De La Garza, 24

Hunter De La Garza, 24, was arrested in February 2022 for allegedly raping a minor resident girl of the children’s shelter where he used to work. On April 9, 2021, the Rogers Police Department was notified that a State Police investigator had received a child abuse hotline call regarding a minor girl. According to a probable cause filing, the suspect was De La Garza, an employee at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter.

The allegation was that he raped a minor girl at the Promenade Mall in Rogers during a one-on-one outing on February 2, 2021. During an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center, the victim confirmed that it was De La Garza and offered explicit details of what he did to her, describing an encounter in a mall bathroom.

Zachry Seward, Attempted Capital Murder, January 24, Washington County Circuit Court

Zachry Seward, 31

Zachry Seward, 31, was charged with attempted capital murder and third degree battery after he allegedly stabbed a probation officer in a Washington County drug court on June 28, 2022. At the time of the stabbing, the suspect wasn’t under any supervision and it was a random attack, according to a spokesperson for the Fayetteville Police Department.

Shortly after noon that day, Fayetteville police officers responded to an assault call at the Washington/Madison County Drug and Diversion Court. Seward allegedly parked his vehicle in front of the building, left it running, ran into the building and stabbed the victim twice in the left leg and once at the base of the skull behind the right ear.

Jason Dunigan, Capital Murder, January 27, Washington County Circuit Court

Jason Ross Dunigan, 39

Jason Ross Dunigan, 39, of Farmington, was arrested on February 19, 2022, and charged with capital murder following the death of his wife, Amber Dunigan.

According to court documents, on May 28, 2021, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a dead woman found inside a car on State Highway 16 west of Fayetteville. An Arkansas State Police Trooper reported to the scene and upon arrival, he made contact with the suspect, who later identified the woman as his wife.

Investigators processed the scene and discovered that the victim had suffered a gunshot wound to the head, and they also found a small piece of neon green fabric by the woman’s head wound and the material “appeared to be very similar to the fabric used on the suspect’s work shirts.”

Police later interviewed another witness who had spoken with the suspect and reported that Dunigan was complaining that the victim’s place of business would not release the victim’s life insurance to him. He also told her that he was “the number one suspect,” but that it would come out later that the victim had actually been killed by a hunter in the area. During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that Amber Dunigan possessed a life insurance policy worth $300,000 with the suspect and her son listed as beneficiaries.

The defense team for Dunigan informed the Circuit Court of Washington County that the suspect intends to rely on the defense of “mental disease or defect” in his upcoming murder trial.

All of the suspects above have entered pleas of not guilty.