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HOUSTON—A federal judge has ordered mediation in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of Sandra Bland, who died last summer in a Texas jail after being arrested.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered the mediation Wednesday. If the parties can't resolve their differences, the case will return to his Houston courtroom. The trial is set for January.

Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, filed the civil lawsuit against Brian Encinia, the ex-Texas trooper who arrested Bland during a traffic stop, and others involved in her detention.

Bland, who was black, died in the Waller County jail three days after being arrested. Authorities ruled her death a suicide. Encinia was charged with perjury after dashcam video appeared to show him yelling at Bland and escalating their confrontation.

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