Final Trial Under Way in Newark Schoolyard Murders

Three of six defendants, most of whom were admitted members of the MS-13 street gang, were convicted at trial and two others pleaded guilty

Thursday, Oct 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:34 AM EDT
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Final Trial Under Way in Newark Schoolyard Murders

AP

In this Tuesday Aug. 21, 2007 file photograph, from left, Dashon Harvey's grandmother Dorothy Harvey, his father, James Harvey, and Shalga Hightower, mother of Iofemi Hightower, listen to the court proceedings in Newark, N.J., of one of the men accused of the execution-style shootings that left Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and another college student dead and one wounded in a Newark schoolyard.

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The attorney for the sixth and final defendant charged in the 2007 killings of three friends at a Newark playground says his client was a bystander at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gerardo Gomez, who was 15 at the time of the slayings, is the youngest of six men and boys charged in the case.

Opening statements are under way in his trial in Superior Court in Newark.

The prosecution told jurors Thursday that they would hear a case of "children killing children, and killing them with shocking violence."

Gomez was waived to adult court and faces life in prison if convicted of murder and felony murder.

Three of the defendants were convicted and two have pleaded guilty. Most were admitted members of the MS-13 street gang.

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