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Attorneys for accused murderer ask for gruesome photos to be withheld

Rick Egan, Salt Lake Tribune, File

Attorneys for accused murderer ask for gruesome photos to be withheld

By Haley Smith | Posted - Dec. 4, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — The man accused of murdering a seven-year-old girl more than five years ago was in court Wednesday morning.

The case has been slow moving for years because of a language barrier. Met speaks a unique dialect of Burmese.

Wednesday, defense attorneys argued for evidence to be suppressed for the trial set to be held in January 2014.

Esar Met sat before the judge Wednesday morning with his interpreter to his left walking him through the hours of arguments.

The main focus in the courtroom was the defense trying to suppress three different parts of evidence in the case for the upcoming trial.

First, Michael Peterson, Met's attorney, claimed the interpreter from the original police interview coerced Met, and he wanted that interview thrown out. Peterson asked to have an evidentiary hearing to call in the original interpreter. The defense then gave a transcript copy of the interview to Judge Judith Atherton to review and make a decision on.

The next piece of evidence the defense was trying to suppress were crime scene pictures of 7-year-old girl Hser Ner Moo. She was found dead, beaten and sexually assaulted in Met's bathroom in 2008. The defense claimed these pictures were bordering the line of gruesome. Peterson said there are other ways to illustrate what happened.

However, the prosecution said that although these pictures are very graphic and hard to look at, they show what happened and they're relevant to support testimony during the trail.

The last issued argued Wednesday was whether police actually had the right to search Met's basement apartment. The judge ruled to meet again in one week to hopefully have the final decisions made on all three topics.

The jury will be selected in three weeks and from there, the trial will proceed as scheduled in January.

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