Judge Denies Mistrial in Case of Newark Boys Burned Alive

Defendant one of two suspects accused of burning Newark boys alive over pot theft.

Thursday, Nov 17, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 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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Closing statements are possible after a judge on Thursday denied a request for a mistrial at the trial of a New Jersey man accused of killing five teenagers in 1978.     

The request came Wednesday as the prosecution cross-examined the defense's first witness who described defendant Lee Evans as a trustworthy person and mentioned his brother.     

The prosecutor asked whether the witness knew that Evans' brother was convicted of murder. Evans' legal adviser said the reference was prejudicial.   

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

Philander Hampton described how he and Evans lured the boys to a vacant Newark home, nailed them in a closet and burned them alive for stealing a pound of marijuana.    

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