Lawyers for the Redmond couple accused of killing their child by starvation have asked the state to negotiate a settlement.

Estevan Adrian Garcia, 35, and his wife, Sacora Rose Horn-Garcia, 32, were arrested in April 2017 on suspicion of intentionally withholding food from their 5-year-old adopted daughter, Maliyha Hope Garcia.

They’ve each been charged with one count of murder, two of first-degree manslaughter and two of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

They’ve pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Both remain at the Deschutes County jail.

Shawn Kollie, attorney for Garcia, and Aaron Brenneman, attorney for Horn-Garcia, filed motions last month in Deschutes County Circuit Court seeking to avoid trial by negotiating with the state.

“A settlement conference would be beneficial, in part, by not using the Court’s valuable time for a lengthy trial when resolution would likely be reached through a settlement conference,” Kollie wrote .

A six-week jury trial is scheduled to begin June 5.

Attorneys involved declined to comment, citing a gag order imposed shortly after arrest.

The arrest of Garcia and Horn-Garcia occurred after police found text messages regarding the health of their adopted daughter Maliyha, sent hours before she died Dec. 21, 2016.

In the texts, the couple discussed her poor health, and whether they should take her to a doctor. The girl died of emaciation, and court documents stated an intentional lack of food and medical attention contributed to the death.

Garcia adopted Maliyha, his niece, at birth.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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