Opening statements made at trial in temple murders

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Associated Press

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 7:33 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Jurors at the retrial of an Arizona man charged with the 1991 murders of nine people at a Buddhist temple in metro Phoenix were played a confession from the man's high school friend who said they went to the house of worship to carry out a robbery.

Prosecutors in 39-year-old Johnathan Doody's retrial focused heavily in opening statements Wednesday on the recorded confession of Alessandro Garcia.

Garcia had pleaded guilty to the murders and was sentenced to life in prison.

Garcia said Doody masterminded the August 1991 robbery at the temple.

Doody's lawyers say their client is innocent and that Garcia gave investigators whatever they wanted to avoid the death penalty.

Doody is accused of killing six monks, a nun and two helpers during a robbery.

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