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Murder case discharged

A judge yesterday directed a jury to acquit three men of murder.

Prosecutors alleged that Michael Beckford, Cravon Lewis and Kenray Rigby killed Michael Knowles, the groundskeeper at Born Again Deliverance Church, on January 19, 2006. They were also accused of robbing church members during a prayer meeting.

Justice Vera Watkins also told the jury to acquit Beckford of the robbery charge.

The jury is expected to deliver a verdict tomorrow on the robbery charge against Lewis and Rigby.

According to the prosecution, all three men placed themselves at the crime scene in their statements to police.

Sergeant Ambrose Knowles testified that he was present when investigating officer Christian Leary interviewed each suspect. He said all the statements were made voluntarily.

According to Knowles, Rigby said Mikey shot a man outside the building. In his testimony Knowles also said Lewis claimed that Mikey shot the man. Knowles added that Lewis gave an additional statement, which he agreed to have videotaped.

Knowles testified that Beckford said”Snoops”shot the man during a struggle.

Prosecutors allege that the men tied up the church’s pastor, Aaron Nixon, with a microphone cord and robbed three other church members of cash and personal items.

Darnell Dorsette and Francis Cumberbatch are the prosecutors. Richard Boodle, Terrel Butler and Roger Gomez Jr. are the defense lawyers.

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