Lights & Sirens

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Prosecution, defense rest in second trial tied to deadly Edgewood home-invasion case

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on April 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
April 12, 2011 4:18 pm

Lawyers are scheduled to give closing arguments Wednesday in the second trial tied to a home-invasion robbery that left an Edgewood father dead.

Amanda Knight, 22, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault. She’s the second of four defendants to go to trial in the slaying of Jim Sanders, 43.

Prosecutors allege Knight and Kiyoshi Higashi went to Sanders’ home April 28, 2010, after Sanders listed a diamond ring for sale on Craigslist. The two posed as buyers, and, after they entered the home, Higashi pulled a gun.

Higashi and Knight bound Sanders and his wife, Charlene, and then signaled to two men waiting outside to enter the house, according to prosecutors.

Those men – Clabon Berniard and Joshua Reese – herded the Sanders’ two sons at gunpoint into the kitchen with their parents, prosecutors allege.

Jim and Charlene Sanders were beaten and threatened with death before Jim Sanders broke free and fought with the robbers, according to testimony during Higashi’s trial.

Sanders was fatally shot and the robbers fled with jewelry, a laptop computer, cell phones and other items.

A jury found Higashi, 23, guilty as charged last month. Berniard and Reese have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and await trial.

Knight testified Tuesday she took part in the crimes only because her codefendants threatened to hurt her and her family if she didn’t.

She testified that during a court hearing shortly after their arrest Higashi motioned for her to remain silent then “ran his finger across his throat.” Knight said she took that to mean he’d kill her is she talked to police.

During cross-examination by deputy prosecutor Mary Robnett, Knight testified she never told detectives she’d been threatened by her codefendants.



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