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Teen testifies he saw friend killed

The teen-ager spoke softly, with little emotion, and told a jury Wednesday that he saw his friend shot to death and that another teen-age buddy had tried to kill him, too.

Daniel Yawkey testified at a trial Wednesday in which Joshua Allen Walther is accused of first-degree murder and attempted murder. The trial began Tuesday and is scheduled to continue today.

Walther, 19, is standing trial for what prosecutors say was his part in the murder of William R. Casey Jr., 17, and for trying to kill Yawkey, who was 15 at the time and is now 18.

Prosecutors have said Walther was in on a plan three years ago to kill Casey and that he was supposed to have killed Yawkey by choking him to death.

The defense has argued that Walther went along with the plan out of fear that he, too, might be killed. Walther never intended or attempted to kill anyone and knew nothing of a plot to commit murder, said Walther's attorney, John D. Fernandez.

Jason Beau Staples pleaded guilty in June 1990 to shooting Casey twice in the back in some woods in Oldsmar on April 10, 1989. Staples also pleaded guilty to attempting to hire someone to kill Yawkey. Staples made his plea before a trial. He has not been sentenced, but prosecutors said Staples will be sentenced to life in prison.


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