A Baton Rouge man accused of killing and dismembering his wife, Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada, and fleeing to Venezuela with the couple's young daughter in 2011 is in plea discussions, a prosecutor told a judge Tuesday.

Oscar Lozada, 44, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

"We have been in plea negotiations," East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings told ad hoc Judge Tony Marabella. "Defense counsel has asked that we leave the negotiations open for one more date."

That next court date will be a pretrial conference on March 10.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office is “completely confident” in its case against Lozada but is entertaining some potential plea possibilities “to ensure justice while protecting the child’s well-being.”

The couple's daughter now lives with her mother's family in Belgium, her mother's home country. Moore said the girl is in a “very unique and difficult position as a child witness of a murdered mother and father as a defendant.”

“Our main focus is not only ensuring justice for Sylviane and her family but mainly for the protection of Sylviane’s daughter. She is our main focus,” he said. “The least amount of trauma that can be imposed on her through the criminal justice trial process the better.”

Lozada’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Quintillis Lawrence, said the goal of the plea negotiations is to do “what’s best for all parties involved.”

Lozada was scheduled to stand trial April 27, but the trial was pushed back Tuesday until July 13.

Last month, the state Supreme Court said Lozada's confession to authorities that he killed and dismembered his wife can be used at his trial. Lozada had argued that a sheriff's detective failed to honor his request for a lawyer.

Lozada was arrested late last year in Mexico after spending more than seven years on the lam in his home country of Venezuela.

Sylviane Lozada's body has never been located. Her blood was found on the ceiling and walls of the garage at the family's Spring Lake Drive home in Baton Rouge after she disappeared.

Lozada had bought buckets and concrete around the time of his wife's disappearance in July 2011, according to court filings.

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.