PHOENIX (AP) — Jurors at the retrial of an Arizona man charged with the 1991 murders of nine people at a Buddhist temple in suburban Phoenix are set to hear closing arguments in the case Monday.
Prosecutors allege Johnathan A. Doody was the mastermind of the killings at the Buddhist temple in the community of Waddell. The now-39-year-old was convicted of the killings in 1993 and sentenced to 281 years in prison.
His defense attorneys told jurors when the trial began last month that other than testimony from a co-defendant that they shouldn't trust, there's no evidence tying Doody to the killings.
He's being re-tried after a federal appeals court overturned his conviction because he wasn't property read his right by interrogators who eventually got him to confess. He was 17 at the time of the confession.
Doody is accused of killing six monks, a nun and two helpers during a robbery. Their bodies were found arranged face-down in a circle, each shot in the back of the head. Authorities say Doody and Garcia made off with cameras, stereo equipment, piggy banks and about $2,600 in cash.
The killings stirred outrage in Thailand, where monks are revered and where most men serve a brief stint as apprentice monks at some point in their lives.
The key witness in the retrial is a co-defendant who pleaded guilty and has been imprisoned with Doody ever since. The Arizona Republic reports Allesandro "Alex" Garcia testified that he and Doody went to the temple to rob the monks and that Doody didn't want any witnesses left behind.
But Garcia also testified that he repeatedly lied to investigators, including an initial denial and later implicating four Tucson men and two others in the case. The so-called "Tucson Four" gave false confessions under questioning by Maricopa County Sheriff's investigators and later won lawsuits.
But Garcia also testified that he was telling the truth.
The trial began Aug. 21.
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