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Ex-con facing murder rap in connection with beating

An ex-convict in Kansas City faces charges in connection with the alleged violent murder of an AT&T repair technician. That man was fatally beaten as he attempted to complete his work on Sept. 19, according to police representatives. The suspect in custody is facing the prospect of mounting a significant criminal defense argument to clear his name.

The 35-year-old suspect has also been charged with attempted robbery and armed criminal action.

Incident reports show that the 58-year-old technician was beaten to death with a crowbar during the early morning hours on Sept. 19. He attempted to contact his supervisors by text-messaging the dispatcher, telling his company that he needed an ambulance. He was found bleeding and unconscious, and he later died from his injuries.

The primary evidence used to attach the suspect to the crime has been a statement from the man's former cellmate. That person says the suspect hit the man on the head with the crowbar when he refused to surrender his wallet. He reportedly discarded the crowbar and fled the scene. Records show that the man was in the area when the crime occurred.

Testimony from other ex-convicts is generally suspect, especially if the informant is still in prison. Prisoners may have ulterior motives for sending a friend or cellmate back to prison, which could cause them to present false testimony to incriminate others. Legal experts generally prefer to rely on testimony that comes from more credible sources. Physical evidence is, of course, the gold standard of information used to convict suspects.

Investigators have found some blood evidence in the man's truck, but it is not clear whether that blood belongs to the AT&T technician. A crowbar was also found missing from his toolbox. Still, authorities have not said that they recovered any conclusive DNA evidence from the scene of the crime, which means that officials' assertions can be more easily refuted.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Ex-convict charged in Northland murder of AT&T technician," Joe Robertson, Sept. 23, 2012

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