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3rd trial starts for alleged kid killer

BALTIMORE, March 11 (UPI) — A Baltimore man accused of killing three children by slashing their throats was in court Monday for the start of his third trial in the case.

Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 31, and accomplice Adan Canela, 26, are accused of killing Lucero Espinoza, 8, her brother Ricardo Espinoza, 9, and their cousin Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10, at their apartment in 2004, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The suspects were tried together in two previous trials. The first trial ended in a mistrial in 2005 and in 2006, they were convicted, which was then overturned by Maryland’s highest court because of judicial errors.

The defendants’ lawyers say separate trials will allow them to speak more freely on parts of the case that were not explained well in the previous trials.

“For the first time everyone’s going to hear exactly what my client said,” said Nicholas Panteleakis, Perez’s attorney, referring to a statement Perez gave to police in which he alleges he never entered the apartment where the children were killed.

Perez’s trial began Monday with jury selection. Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

Canela’s trial will begin later this spring.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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