Neighborhood watch defendants opt for bench trial

AP News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2012 6:48 PM
Neighborhood watch defendants opt for bench trial

Two brothers accused of beating a black teenager while patrolling for a Jewish neighborhood watch have withdrawn a request to move their trial, saying comparisons to the Trayvon Martin shooting would make it hard to get a fair trial.

Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim told the judge Tuesday they will opt for a bench trial instead. Attorney Andrew Alperstein says public interest in the Florida case would have made it impossible to find an impartial jury, but they believe the judge can conduct a fair trial.

The Werdesheims are charged in the Nov. 19, 2010, beating of a 15-year-old boy in Baltimore. According to charging documents, one threw the teen to the ground and the other hit him in the head with a radio.

The trial is set to begin Wednesday.