The suspect in the April 20 murder of retired Gen. Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro, who had beeen exonerated of charges that he had links to drug traffickers, will face trial in the case, Mexican judicial officials said.

Jonathan Javier Arechega was ordered to go to trial by a judge in Mexico City, the Federal District Attorney's Office said.

The judge ruled that there is sufficient evidence to move forward with the trial, the DA's office said.

Acosta Chaparro was shot several times at close range by a gunman, who was then sped away from the crime scene by an accomplice on motorcycle.

In May 2010, the retired general survived a gunshot attack apparently stemming from an attempted robbery.

Eyewitness statements and other evidence contradict the statement given by the suspect to investigators, the DA's office said.

Images captured by a security camera also "clearly show the moment when the suspect took the retired general's life," the DA's office said.

Acosta Chaparro and the late Gen. Francisco Quiros Hermosillo were arrested in August 2000 on charges that they provided protection for the Juarez drug cartel for years.

The two officers were tried, convicted and stripped of their ranks by a military court in November 2002.

Acosta Chaparro and Quiros Hermosillo served their sentences at Mexico City's Military Camp No. 1.

Acosta Chaparro, however, was released on June 29, 2007, after a federal court threw out his conviction, citing lack of evidence linking him to drug traffickers.

The ruling allowed him to regain his rank of general.

Acosta Chaparro was also tried in connection with the massacre of 22 peasants during Mexico's "dirty war" in the 1970s, but he was acquitted in February 2006. EFE