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Juarez Trial Testimony Ends

Senior Deputy Public Defender Karen Atkins
Paul Wellman (file)

Eight weeks after it began, the murder trial of 15-year-old Ricardo Juarez-facing adult charges of murder for the stabbing death of 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares in March 2007-is winding down, with both sides concluding their cases on 10/1. Closing arguments are expected Monday. Over the last week, both the prosecution and defense have been bringing to the stand witnesses, many of whom have appeared in court already, to tie up the loose ends. Prosecutor Hilary Dozer has taken much of that time to impeach the testimony of some witnesses whose courtroom accounts contradicted what they had said to police and others. One young girl in particular, an acquaintance of Ricardo Romero-the boy whom Juarez’s attorneys say committed the murder, changed her story about what happened the day of the murder. But Karen Atkins, co-counsel for the defense, said that the girl made contradictory statements because she was threatened by a gang member-who was prosecuted for threatening her-after he saw her hand over evidence related to Romero’s involvement to a police officer. The girl told authorities that Romero gave her gloves-which were later found to have the victim’s blood on them-shortly after the gang fight occurred.

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