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Jury selection began Wednesday in Solano County Superior Court in Vallejo for the trial of a 45-year-old Fairfield man accused of killing his girlfriend in August.

Mark Anthony Randle Jr. listened in Ward 23 as Judge John B. Ellis explained to more than 80 potential jurors the single charge, murder, how long the trial would last, the trial schedule, what type of evidence would be presented, the prosecutor’s burden of proof and the defendant’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.

The judge asked Assistant District Attorney Mary Nguyen and her co-counsel Elaine Kuo to inform the jury who was on the witness list to determine if any potential jurors knew anyone on the list.

Nguyen stood up and counted more than a dozen civilians, a dozen Fairfield police officers and investigators, and a criminal investigator.

Assistant Public Defender Dustin Latka and co-counsel Arielle D. Hostetler, representing Randle, mentioned that he would call at least one witness — and possibly more — on behalf of his client.

Ellis laid down some standard ground rules, telling jurors that they were not allowed to discuss the case with anyone at any time during the expected four-week trial in the courthouse – except when they began deliberations in the jury room.

The prosecutor’s criminal complaint, originally filed on August 20, states that Randle killed Erica Brown in their shared home in Fairfield on or about August 20 and then fled.

According to Fairfield police investigators, Brown’s body has not been found.

As previously reported, Randle was arrested and taken into custody on September 14 in the 7000 block of Circle Parkway in Fairfield. The criminal complaint was filed on September 18.

In the amended indictment on October 4, another defendant in the case, Jan Elizabeth Agacinski, is accused of aiding and abetting the crime.

It also alleged that Randle and Agacinski “committed acts that aggravated the crime.” (However, Agacinski has since been called as a prosecution witness and her name was at the top of Nguyen’s list.)

According to official court documents, Nguyen filed a “statement and facts” in the case on November 9.

In it, she stated that Randle and Brown “were in a relationship” and lived together in the 2000 block of Sunrise Drive in Fairfield.

Brown’s employer, Service Champ, an auto parts and accessories store in Fairfield, reported that Brown had not been at work or in contact since August 20.

A friend and co-worker then went to the house on Sunrise Drive, but found that no one was home except two dogs and “all the bedding was missing.”

On August 22 and 24, Fairfield police officers visited the home to check on the well-being of the guests, but no one was home.

In a statement to police, Agacinski said Randle summoned her to his home, where she saw Brown “lying naked on the master bed, her face so badly beaten it was ‘unrecognizable.'”

Randle is said to have told Agacinski that he and Brown had argued about infidelity and then subjected her to “waterboarding.”

Nguyen stated that the neighbor’s Ring camera footage confirmed some of Agacinski’s statements.

Investigators at the scene found human blood “on the rear driver’s door frame of a Chevy Malibu that was found burned and abandoned outside a Richmond tow yard.

DNA testing linked that blood to Brown’s mother. A black Mercedes sedan that Randle often drove was found abandoned in Vallejo, “with three gas cans in the trunk.”

A search of the Sunrise Drive home revealed that all bedding was missing from the master bedroom. Investigators found human blood stains on the mattress and pillow. DNA analysis of the blood showed that it was Brown’s mother’s.

Nguyen’s document states that on August 25, Randle visited a friend, Muriel Hughes, in Benicia and allegedly confessed to Brown’s murder.

Randle told Hughes that he had burned his car in Richmond and that a woman named “Jan” had helped him dispose of Brown’s body, but that Brown “would never be found.”

If found guilty at trial, Randle faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, even though he is currently being held without bail at the Stanton Correction Facility in Fairfield.

The hearing will continue on Thursday at 9 a.m. in Division 23.