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Outburst halts hearing for man accused of girl's murder

Posted - May 21, 2010 at 6:34 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The man charged with killing a 7-year-old girl in 2008 surprised nearly everyone in court Friday when he pleaded innocent to the charges.

Esar Met, a refugee from Myanmar, is charged with aggravated murder and child kidnapping in connection with the death of Hser Ner Moo.

One of Met's lawyers told the judge they'd reached a resolution in the case. At that point Met started yelling in his native language, and he and his attorneys left the room. When they returned, the defense asked for a new hearing.

According to an interpreter for the girl's family, he said authorities forced him to say he killed her, but he did not. In a probable cause statement two years ago, Met admitted to the murder.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the family -- who traveled from Iowa for Friday's hearing -- had been told Met would plead guilty and be sentenced.

Now, the judge has set a status hearing for July.

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