Archive for Friday, September 10, 2004

Former FHSU student on trial for beating death

September 10, 2004

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— Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a fourth former Fort Hays State University student accused in the death last year of an 18-year-old freshman from Healy.

Jaime R. Lopez III, 24, of Chula Vista, Calif., is on trial for second-degree murder in the Nov. 13, 2003, beating death of Clint W. Johnson.

Three other former university students -- Christopher Ross, 20, of Wylie, Texas; Louis A. Llamas, 24, of San Diego; and Bradley D. Deary, 21, of Smithville, Texas -- all have been sentenced for their roles in Johnson's death.

Prosecutors painted a picture Wednesday of a series of fights that took place between two groups of men who had been drinking and were looking for an after-hours party. Amid the violence, Johnson was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

"The prosecution plans to call about 30 witnesses to the stand, and not one of them alone will get you all the way through the events of that night," Ellis County Atty. Tom Drees told the jury.

Defense attorneys acknowledged that Lopez was involved in the altercations, but they did not connect him to a bat that was used to beat Johnson.

Lopez also is facing aggravated battery and two counts of misdemeanor intimidation of a witness.

Testimony continued on Thursday in the trial.

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