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Newark Schoolyard Killing Suspect Stays Mum at Trial

Newark Police Department

A man on trial for the execution-style killings of three Newark friends in 2007 has rested his defense without testifying.

Jose Carranza has been on trial since mid-January.

He was one of six men and boys arrested for the murders of Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrance “T.J.” Aeriel in a playground behind Newark’s Mount Vernon School.

The victims were attending or planning to attend Delaware State University.

Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, was free on bail in an unrelated case at the time of the murders.

Two co-defendants have been convicted and two more have pleaded guilty. One testified this week that Carranza slashed and sexually assaulted a fourth victim who survived the attack.

A jury in Newark is scheduled to hear closing arguments on Monday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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