Trial Starts For Inmate Charged In Officer’s Death

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Anne Arundel County prosecutors say two prisoners fatally stabbed a correctional officer because they didn’t want to live by the rules.

The death penalty trial of Lee Stephens, one of those two prisoners charged in corrections officer David McGuinn’s 2006 slaying, began Wednesday. Prisoner Lamar Harris is also charged, but his fitness to stand trial is in question.

If there’s a conviction and death sentence in the case, it would be the first since Maryland’s law changed to reserve capital punishment for murders in which there is a videotaped confession or biological evidence linking the defendant to the crime.

Prosecutors told jurors that they have biological evidence — McGuinn’s blood on the prisoners’ clothes. But Stephens’ defense says that that’s no surprise because blood was splashed around after the attack.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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