STORY COUNTY, Iowa -- Alexander Kozak turned 23 Tuesday, the same day jury selection began in the case against him.
Kozak is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Andrea Farrington. In June of 2014, Farrington was working at the Iowa Children's Museum in Coralville's mall.
Kozak also worked there as a mall security guard but quit the day of the shooting. He claims the two were in a relationship before Farrington broke up with him over text.
“He had left the mall, retrieved the gun from his residence in North Liberty, intentionally shot the victim in the back three times, then fled,” Janet Lyness, Johnson County District Attorney said Tuesday.
Police say Kozak shot her near the mall food court. Kozak's attorneys are arguing that Kozak had a mental defect at the time of the shooting.
Due to widespread media coverage, the trial has been moved out of eastern Iowa to Story County.
About 100 people showed up to the courthouse Tuesday, even more than originally expected. Opening statements could begin Wednesday afternoon. A first-degree murder verdict in Iowa carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.