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Trial Delayed in Guatemala For Men Charged in Attack on Utah Man

Trial Delayed in Guatemala For Men Charged in Attack on Utah Man



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- A trial has been delayed for two men charged in the bandit-style bus attack last year in Central America, where well-known Ogden architect Brett Richards was shot and killed.

The trial was to have started last week in Guatemala, but now has been pushed back to August, said the slain man's brother, Reed Richards, a former chief of the Utah Attorney General's criminal division.

The robbery and slaying occurred as the group was traveling from Quetzaltenango to the Mexican border.

Brett Richards was killed during a confrontation with the five or six bandits who robbed the tour bus that carried Richards and several family members and friends in January 2004.

Richards was shot to death when he went to the aid of the bus driver, who was struggling with the robbers and was shot in the foot.

The robbers led the other passengers into a forest and forced them to lie face down before stealing their belongings.

Two women from the tour returned to Guatemala in March 2004 to identify two of the suspects from a police lineup.

Only two men are in custody, and it is their trial that has been moved back to August. Neither is believed to be the gunman who shot Richards, family members say.

Earlier this year, Guatemalan police sent a number of photographs of suspects to the family. Richards' father, Maurice, identified one as the shooter, but the family has never been informed of that person was arrested. The only communication in the case has been through the U.S. embassy, since the prosecutors and staff don't speak English, Reed Richards has said, adding that has contributed to the family's frustration over little information being given to the family.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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