Closing Arguments Begin In Newark Schoolyard Shooting

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Closings statements were under way in the trial of a man accused of killing three college-bound friends accused of killing three college-bound friends in a New Jersey schoolyard.

Dashon Harvey, Terrance Aeriel and Iofemi Hightower were lined up against a wall behind Newark’s Mount Vernon School and shot in the back of the head in August 2007.

A fourth victim survived being stabbed and shot in the brutal attack.

Jurors were being asked to consider duress.

Alexander Alfaro’s defense attorney was expected to argue his client was pressured by fellow gang members to come to the schoolyard in 2007 when the three victims were slain execution-style.

The judge denied a request by prosecutors to tell jurors that any threat Alfaro perceived had to have been specific and immediate, not generalized.

Last week, prosecutors played the taped statement in which Alfaro admits slashing one of the victims with a machete before all three were shot execution-style.

Alfaro claimed he was coerced into giving a confession, saying a Newark police detective told him to make a false statement when he was arrested two weeks after the murders.

The detective took the stand Tuesday and denied that.

Do you believe Alfaro? Let us know below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Micha

    Na-na-nananana-hey-hey-hey GOODBYE! Why would he even bother to lie and say he was coerced into a confession. What about the eye witness? Ya know, the one they tried to murder along with her friends… He wasn’t counting on her surviving. These guys should all be executed in the same way they did those kids… Better yet, put these guys in a prison where there is a huge population from a rival gang. Let their “enemies” have fun with them..

    • Marie

      Micha, very well said.



  • Brooklynbound

    big man on the night of the murders now lying and running scared when it’s time to pay the piper. hopefully they make an example of these animals. they have no place in this country.

  • Sam

    Sorry, I am not confessing to something I did not do. I don’t believe Alfaro for one second. He is a thug and a murderer. I hope he gets the needle which is probably an easy way out compared to the way he tortured his victims. So he will probably get 3 square meals a day on the taxpayers dime.

    • BigEz

      You can’t be sure that you wouldn’t confess.

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