NEWARK - A jury in Newark heard opening arguments today in the trial of the fifth of six defendants accused in the 2007 Newark schoolyard murders.
Both attorneys laid out their cases as family members of the victims once again gathered to hear brutal details of the murders. Jose Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, was 28 when he and five other men and boys were arrested in August 2007 for the execution-style killings of Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrance "T.J." Aeriel in a playground behind the Mount Vernon School. Carranza is described by the prosecution as the largest, oldest and most imposing defendant
Two defendants have already been convicted and are serving consecutive life sentences. Two more have pleaded guilty.
Some of the defendants told police Carranza wielded a machete during the attack. He's charged with murder, robbery, sexual assault and weapons offenses.
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