Case of 5 NJ teens missing since 1978 wrapping up

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2011 1:17 PM
Case of 5 NJ teens missing since 1978 wrapping up

Closing arguments are expected Friday in the trial of a New Jersey man accused of burning five teenagers alive in 1978.

The jury was sent home early Thursday, after a judge denied an earlier request by the defense for a mistrial.

An attorney assisting Lee Evans, who faces multiple murder charges, argued the prosecution made prejudicial remarks about a defense witness.

State Superior Court Judge Patricia Costello strongly rebuked the prosecutor, but denied the mistrial motion.

The prosecution had rested its case after calling Evans' cousin, who pleaded guilty and received a reduced sentence for his testimony.

Philander Hampton testified he and Evans lured the boys to a vacant Newark home and nailed them in a closet, and that Evans burned them alive in retaliation for stealing his marijuana.