Man Convicted of Murder, Rape of Woman

Man Convicted of Murder, Rape of Woman

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- A 23-year-old man was convicted of rape and first-degree murder in the death of woman who had been hitchhiking to a job.

Irvin Cepi and three other men were accused of picking up Charlotte Jane Brown, 38, in May 2002 as she hitchhiked to a job in Holbrook.

Prosecutors said the men drove Brown to a remote location where she was raped by all four men and then beat with rocks in the woods near Jeddito. Her body was buried under rocks and wasn't discovered until August 2002.

Cepi was convicted Friday in U.S. District Court in Prescott. Two other defendants have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The fourth, who was a juvenile at the time of Brown's death, is awaiting trial.

When sentenced, Cepi could receive life in prison. He is not eligible for the death penalty because Brown was killed on the Navajo Reservation.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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