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Accused killer allowed street clothes in hearings

Accused killer allowed street clothes in hearings



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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- A judge has rejected a prosecutor's argument that accused killer Joel Patrick Courtney appear in court wearing his prison uniform and a stun belt.

Benton Count Circuit Judge Locke Williams told District Attorney John Haroldson that Courtney can wear ordinary clothes during hearings in order to avoid prejudice by any potential jurors for his trial, not expected until 2010.

The judge also said a stun belt or restraints could violate Courtney's constitutional rights.

Courtney is charged with aggravated murder in the death of Brooke Wilberger, a Brigham Young University student who was working a summer job for her sister in Corvallis when she disappeared in May 2004.

Courtney has already been sentenced to 18 years in prison for abducting and raping a 22-year-old University of New Mexico foreign exchange student in November 2003.

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Information from: Gazette-Times

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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