Trial set for defendant in NJ schoolyard murders

January 12, 2012 4:31:13 AM PST
The fifth of six defendants in a brutal triple murder is scheduled to go on trial in Newark.

Jose Carranza was a 28-year-old illegal immigrant from Peru in August 2007 when he and five other men and boys were arrested for the execution-style killings of Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrance "T.J." Aeriel in a playground behind Newark's Mount Vernon School.

The victims were friends who were attending or planning to attend Delaware State University.

A jury in Newark is scheduled to hear opening arguments on Thursday.

Two defendants have already been convicted and are serving consecutive life sentences. Two more have pleaded guilty.

Some of the defendants told police Carranza wielded a machete during the attack. He's charged with murder, robbery, sexual assault and weapons offenses.

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