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Jury Picked for Sentencing of Teen Who Confessed to Killing Counselor

Jury Picked for Sentencing of Teen Who Confessed to Killing Counselor



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BOUNTIFUL, Utah (AP) -- The sentencing hearing for a teen who pleaded guilty in the stabbing death of a youth counselor is scheduled to begin Monday.

Jury selection for the sentencing phase in the trial of Robert Cameron Houston concluded Friday. The nine women and five men including two alternates will determine if Houston should be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison or life in prison without parole for confessing to killing Raechale Elton on Feb. 15, 2006.

Houston pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder last month. It's a charge that typically carries a possible death sentence. But Houston, now 18, doesn't qualify because he was 17 at the time he stabbed Elton, 22.

As part of the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of rape and aggravated sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Houston asked Elton, a counselor at the Youth Health Associates group home where he participated in activities and once lived, for a ride to his independent-living center. When they arrived at the house, Houston told Elton she needed to sign him in, he then threatened her with a knife, raped her, stabbed her and cut her throat, according to prosecutors.

The penalty phase is schedule to begin Monday. Chief Deputy Davis County Attorney Bill McGuire said Elton's co-worker who discovered her dead body will testify first, followed by two Clearfield police officers.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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