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Utahns to Return From Guatemala Trial

Utahns to Return From Guatemala Trial

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- The trial in Guatemala of two men accused of killing Ogden architect Brett Richards during the robbery of his tour bus may continue for another two weeks, but the Utah group that went there to testify was expected to return Thursday.

Brett Richards' widow Becky, cousin Patty Allen and father Maurice; Maurice's wife Patricia; Val and Marcella Morley of Provo; and tour guide Joe Allen were under heavy guard during their stay their this week.

The local government and the U.S. Embassy provided the extra security, with funding help from the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism. The institute also paid the expenses of the seven Americans.

Brett Richards, 52, was shot to death in a confrontation with five or six bandits who overtook the tour bus.

Henry Gabriel, 27, and Marvin Berganza, 29, were later arrested when they allegedly turned up on a store video using Val Morley's stolen credit card, police said.

Neither was believed to be the trigger man.

The seven Utahns spent all of Tuesday testifying in a small courtroom in Quetzaltenango, recounting the Jan. 7, 2004, murder.

They returned to Guatemala City Wednesday for their flight back to the United States.

A three-judge panel is presiding over the non-jury trial.

Witnesses still to be called include local police and U.S. FBI agents who did a great deal of technical and forensic work in the case, Brett Richards' brother Reed Richards told the Standard-Examiner.

Reed Richards also was on the tour bus but was not asked to testify. He was in touch by phone with the group nightly.

"The trial is definitely run more by the judges than the prosecutor, unlike the U.S. system," said Richards, former chief deputy Utah attorney general. "The judges routinely ask about half the questions of the witnesses."

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

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