Trial begins in Newark schoolyard slayings

The first trial stemming from the slayings of three bright-minded students began today in Newark.

Rodolfo Godinez is the first of six defendants to go to trial in the killings of Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrance Aeriel. The three were killed execution style at the Mount Vernon Elementary School in August 2007.

A fourth victim, Natasha Aeriel, who survived the attacks, was allegedly sexually molested, stabbed and shot. She is expected to testify in the trial.

Godinez has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges.

The five other defendants will be tried separately.

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