Jury Selection Begins for Man Charged in Newark Boys' Murders

The attack allegedly was prompted by stolen drugs

Friday, Oct 21, 2011  |  Updated 10:23 AM EDT
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Lee Evans (l) and Philander Hampton (r) were charged with murder in connection with the boys' disappearance.

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Jury selection is scheduled to begin Friday for the trial of a New Jersey man charged with murdering five Newark teenagers in 1978.     

Lee Evans is one of two suspects charged in what was one of New Jersey's longest-running cold cases. The other, Philander Hampton, pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against Evans.     

Hampton told authorities in 2008 that he and Evans lured the teens to an abandoned house in Newark with the promise of odd jobs, then locked them inside and set the house on fire.     

The attack allegedly was prompted by stolen drugs.     

The bodies of the five teens -- Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor, Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell -- were never recovered, and the fire destroyed nearly all evidence and hampered the investigation.      

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