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Jury selection starts in 2012 Avila slaying of prominent doctor and wife

TAMPA — Jury selection started Monday morning in the trial of a man accused of murdering a prominent doctor and his wife at their Avila home in 2012.

Hillsborough prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Julian Ospina-Florez, 35, who faces two counts of first-degree murder.

Ospina-Florez had worked for Debra Rivera for about a year, driving her around and helping with her upscale jewelry and accessories business. The Jan. 9, 2012, shooting occurred soon after they had returned from a trade show in Sarasota, deputies said. Debra was killed inside the home. Her husband, Dr. Hector Rivera, was shot outside as he returned from a neighbor's house.

Deputies have said they believe Ospina-Florez killed the couple because Debra Rivera had accused him and others of stealing about $30,000 worth of items.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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