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Trial Underway In 1993 Moorhead Killing

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) – A 12-person jury has been seated and testimony has begun in a cold-case killing in Minnesota involving a North Dakota suspect.

Forty-six-year-old Clarence Burcham of Center, N.D., is accused in the November 1993 rape and killing of Sharon Stafford in a Moorhead mobile home park. Burcham wasn’t charged until 2009, when police say he admitted in an interview with a cold case detective to strangling his 26-year-old neighbor with an electrical cord after she called him retarded.

The Forum newspaper reports that prosecutor Heidi Davies in her opening statement to the jury on Thursday said Burcham made inconsistent statements about the incidents surrounding Stafford’s death.

Defense attorney Tracy Eichhorn-Hicks said Burcham confessed to a crime he didn’t commit because of low intelligence and pressure from the police detective.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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