Trial Opens for Man Accused of Beating, Strangling Another Man

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A murder trial is under way in southwestern Illinois for a man who claims he acted in self-defense when he pummeled and strangled a 77-year-old man.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that jurors in Madison County on Tuesday began hearing the first-degree murder case involving 43-year-old defendant Ray Slack of Alton.

A prosecutor told jurors that Slack attacked and killed Robert Garrett last year after Garrett refused to lend him money, at one point hitting Garrett in the face with a concrete birdbath base. Garrett also was strangled with a rope.

But defense attorney Tony Muhlenkamp countered that Slack acted in self-defense because he knew Garrett carried a knife and gun. Muhlenkamp says Slack and the victim were like family.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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