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Student on trial for deacon's slaying

Latrell Latham faces a charge of first-degree murder in the Oct. 23, 2007, slaying of Richard Gus Brown, 74.

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Latrell Latham in court
RALEIGH, N.C. — A jury was selected Monday for the murder trial of a former Millbrook High School student charged in the shooting death of a Raleigh deacon.

Latrell Cyrell Latham, 17, appeared in court for the start of his trial in a new dress shirt and tie. He is charged with murder in the Oct. 23, 2007, slaying of Richard Gus Brown.

Brown, 74, had returned from a meeting at Old Liberty Missionary Church in Louisburg and was checking his mail outside his Wallingford Drive apartment when he was shot, police said.

Latham was in jail on an unrelated armed robbery charge on Nov. 13, 2007, when he was charged in Brown's death.

He claims he was with friends the night Brown was killed and had nothing to do with the shooting, but prosecutors said Latham's palm print and fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime.

A judge last week refused a defense request to delay the trial. Defense attorney Jeff Cutler said he had only recently received the information about the palm print and fingerprints.

If convicted, Latham faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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