Testimony from an Accused Killer

December 22, 2008 2:11:02 PM PST
One of the men accused of murdering a Fresno teenager took the witness stand...Saying he didn't do it. In the summer of 2006 investigators found Courtney Rice's body in the back of a truck.

She was handcuffed, beaten, and strangled.

Four people are on trial for Rice's murder.

Roger Alley is so far the only defendant to testify.

One of the other codefendants decided not to take the witness stand because she didn't want to be labeled a snitch.

Roger Alley testified about a drug binge that lasted several hours.

Alley said at the Park Apartments...He was high one summer day in 2006.

Alley: "I was kind of freaking out. I was paranoid."

The judge asked us not to video tape alley's face on the witness stand.

Alley: "I've seen Courtney Rice on the floor."

Alley testified he found Courtney Rice on the floor of Michelle Molina's apartment.

Molina is also on trial.

Investigators believe...Alley...Molina...Joseph Lopez and...Albert Vargas all participated in the murder.

Rice's body was later discovered in the back of a truck.

Alley said he wasn't at the apartment when she died...But agreed to help afterwards.

Alley: "There was a plan made that Michelle would go with Maria and clean the apartment or something."

Alley never directly blamed his codefendants but he placed Molina...Vargas and Lopez at the scene.

Defense Attorney David Mugridge represents Vargas and says Alley's testimony is not damaging.

Mugridge: "So far, we haven't seen cross examination yet. So far I'm frankly surprised with the way he is handling himself on the stand."

Alley retakes the witness stand Friday.

In light of today's testimony...Some of the other defense attorneys are considering asking their clients to testify as well.


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