Paul J. Cambria Jr., one of the area's top defense lawyers, will represent Rachel Stra in the slaying of her 7-year-old daughter, Samantha Zaldivar.
Cambria's office confirmed Friday that he has been appointed by the Capital Defenders Office in Rochester to assist with Ms. Stra's defense. The appointment was requested by Anthony N. Irrera, who has been representing Ms. Stra.
Irrera, a public defender, said Thursday he expects Ms. Stra and her fiance, Angel Colon, to be indicted by a Wyoming County grand jury in connection with the child's death in February. He also said he was seeking the assistance of a defense attorney who has experience with murder cases.
So far, no one has been indicted in Samantha's slaying, but Irrera said the evidence he has seen is adequate to support indictments against Colon as a principal and Ms. Stra as an accomplice.
He also revealed that Ms. Stra and Colon have been charged in Wyoming County Family Court with sexually abusing Samantha and her two half-sisters, the children of Ms. Stra and Colon.
Samantha disappeared Feb. 26. Her body was found May 23 buried in a field near her home in the the Wyoming County community of Hermitage.
Colon was arrested last week in Florida on a bench warrant after he failed to appear in Wethersfield Town Court on misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Colon is fighting extradition back to New York.