The Latest: Appeal planned in 2007 Times Square hotel death

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 7:55 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the trial in a murder case surrounding a prostitute's death in a Times Square hotel, a case that became a forum for debate over the scientific validity of bite-mark evidence (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

A lawyer for a man convicted nearly a decade after a prostitute's battered body was found in a Times Square budget hotel says he plans to appeal.

Attorney Sean Maher (MAH'-uhr) says he's hopeful that Clarence Dean ultimately will be exonerated.

The Manhattan district attorney's office has no immediate comment on Tuesday's verdict.

Prosecutors said Dean killed Kristine Yitref in a rage in August 2007. Dean, a convicted sex offender, admitted choking Yitref but denied killing her. He said he blacked out while defending himself from her and her pimp.

The long lead-up to the trial partly reflected arguments over whether jurors could hear a comparison between Dean's teeth and a bite mark on Yitref's body. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to introduce it.

Dean often declined to attend the trial.

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6:45 p.m.

It took nearly a decade for a murder case over a prostitute's death in a shabby Times Square hotel to go to trial. But it took only about two hours for jurors to convict the accused man.

Jurors in Clarence Dean's case began deliberating late Tuesday afternoon. The Manhattan district attorney's office says the jury delivered a guilty verdict Tuesday evening.

The convicted sex offender admitted choking Kristine Yitref but denied killing her. He said he blacked out while defending himself from her and her pimp in August 2007.

The long lead-up to the case partly reflected a dispute over whether jurors could hear a comparison between Dean's teeth and a bite mark on Yitref's body. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to introduce it.

Dean often declined to attend the trial.

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4:30 p.m.

A jury is about to get a nearly decade-old murder case over a prostitute's death in a shabby Times Square hotel.

Deliberations began Tuesday in the case against Clarence Dean.

The convicted sex offender admitted choking Kristine Yitref but denied killing her. He said he blacked out while defending himself from her and her pimp in August 2007.

Arrested days later, he's spent one of the longest pretrial spells in jail of any New York City suspect.

The wait partly reflected a dispute over whether jurors could hear a comparison between Dean's teeth and a bite mark on Yitref's body. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to introduce it.

Dean declined to attend much of the trial.

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11:50 a.m.

A nearly decade-old murder case over a prostitute's death in a shabby Times Square hotel will soon go to a jury after being drawn out by debate over the scientific validity of bite-mark evidence.

The defendant, Clarence Dean, wasn't in court as summations began Tuesday, by his choice.

The convicted sex offender admitted choking Kristine Yitref but denied killing her. He said he was defending himself after she and her pimp attacked him in in August 2007.

Arrested days later, he's spent one of the longest pretrial spells in jail of any New York City suspect.

The wait partly reflected a dispute over whether jurors could hear a comparison between Dean's teeth and a bite mark on Yitref's body.

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This story has been corrected to show that jury deliberations began late Tuesday afternoon rather than beginning Wednesday.