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Video statement barred from court

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May 2, 2006

Albany -- A video tape statement from a missing Albany man, charged with murder, will not be allowed in court.

Three other men charged with that murder go on trial Monday. The three men are charged with gunning down Travis Harris in December 2002, during the robbery of a card game in East Albany.

A judge ruled today that the jury will not see the video-taped statement of a fourth man charged with that murder. Richard Zackery, Ricardel Hightower, and Roderick Johnson will be tried for murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

Prosecutors say Zackery shot Harris with an AK-47, as he ran from the robbery of a card game on West Road. Prosecutors dropped another charge of burglary against the men in a pre-trial hearing today.

A fourth man, Abe Brown, is also charged with that murder. Brown gave a video-taped statement to police about the crime before he disappeared.

At the hearing today, prosecutors argued that Brown ran because he was threatened by the three co-defendants.

Judge Dane Perkins ruled that video-taped statement would not be allowed during next week's trial. Prosecutors are not asking for the death penalty in the case.

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