Jurors Gets Birdbath Killer Case

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Jurors soon will begin deciding the case of a southwestern Illinois man accused of pummeling and strangling a 77-year-old man.

Closing arguments were expected Thursday morning in the Madison County first-degree murder trial of 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.

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