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Wed, March 20

Second trial begins for triple murder suspect

The second trial for triple murder suspect Frank Anderson began in Mohave County Superior Court Monday with the selection of an eight man, six woman jury from a pool of more than 100 people.

Anderson, 52, who along with Bobby Poyson and Kimberly Lane, is accused of murdering Leta Kagen, her 15-year-old son, Robert Delahunt and Roland Wear at the Kagen's Golden Valley residence Aug.

12, 1996.

Poyson has been sentenced to die for his role in the slayings while Lane is serving a prison sentence.

Anderson, whose1998 conviction in the case was overturned, faces the same charges: three counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy of murder.

Tuesday morning, Chief Deputy County Attorney Jace Zack outlined his case for Superior Court Judge James Chavez and the jury.

His opening comments detailed how Anderson and Lane met in California, traveled to Las Vegas then to Golden Valley.

Zack related how the pair ended up at Kagen's home where Poyson was also residing.

Zack said Lane lured Robert Delahunt into a trailer where Anderson allegedly cut his throat, then assisted Poyson in smashing the youth's head in with rocks and bricks.

Anderson also allegedly assisted Poyson in shooting Kagen and Wear later that night.

The three codefendants then allegedly stole Wear's truck and, after dropping Lane and Poyson off near Chicago, Anderson was stopped and arrested driving the truck in southern Illinois.

"There is no DNA or fancy forensics," Zack said.

"There doesn't have to be in this case.

There is just good police work."

Zack also explained that a person could be charged with premeditated murder, as an accomplice in a murder and for felony murder, an act where someone is killed during an armed robbery.

"Even assisting anyone in inflicting fatal wounds, that person is guilty of first-degree murder," Zack said.

"This murder was senseless, stupid and savage."

Anderson's attorney, Thomas Kehm, followed with his own opening comments saying that there is little or no physical evidence tying Anderson to the killings.

"What physical evidence is there that links Frank Anderson to this case?" Kehm said.

"We think that (physical evidence) is lacking."

Kehm said that there were no fingerprints, blood samples or footprints made by Anderson at the crime scene.

"What does that leave us?" he said.

"Statements Frank Anderson made to the police."

Kehm downplayed the three interviews by officers from Illinois and by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office saying officers tried to trick Anderson in eliciting information and that his client's statements were inconsistent.

Kehm also said Anderson and Lane were afraid of Poyson and that the wounds to Robert Delahunt's throat would not have been fatal until Poyson "took over".

Lane, who is back in Mohave County Jail, is not expected to take the stand until next week, Zack said.

In his first trial, a Mohave County jury found Anderson guilty in January 1998 for three counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy of murder.

The Arizona Supreme Court struck down Anderson's death sentence.

The court ruled 4-1 to overturn the sentence because of an error in qualifying jurors during his 1998 trial, records show.

Lane, 19, was also convicted in her first murder trial but the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned her conviction and the state Supreme Court upheld that decision.

Prior to her second trial, she pleaded guilty to lesser charges and received a reduced sentence.

Poyson, 25, was also convicted and sentenced to death in November 1999.

The U.S.

Supreme Court upheld his conviction and he remains on death row.

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