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Closing arguments set to begin in Vergara trial

POSTED: August 29, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Jurors will hear closing arguments this afternoon in the death penalty trial of Ignacio Vergara.

The state rested its case this morning around 11 after presenting five days' worth of evidence. Vergara's defense attorneys rested immediately afterwards without calling a witness.

The defense won a small victory this morning when Senior Superior Court Judge John Girardeau granted a motion for directed verdict, finding Vergara not guilty of trafficking in cocaine.

Defense attorney Lee Parks argued that no cocaine was entered into evidence and that no one could testify that they saw what was in the two duct tape-wrapped bricks taken in the March 13, 2002, fatal shootings of Francisco Saucedo and Alejandro Santana.

Jurors could begin deliberating the case by midafternoon. If Vergara is found guilty of murder, the trial would commence to the sentencing phase, where the jury would consider the options of life with the possibility of parole, life without parole or death by lethal injection.



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