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New Bedford slaying trial scheduled to start

October 5, 2013

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Trial is set to begin for a New Bedford man charged with beating another man to death during a robbery, stealing the victim’s car and fleeing to Connecticut.

The Standard-Times (http://bit.ly/GAJaSw ) reports that jury selection in the murder trial of Thomas Gardner is expected to start Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Gardner met the victim, Michael Duarte, at a city home Duarte was interested in buying in November 2011. The house was owned by Gardner’s ex-wife and had been foreclosed on.

Prosecutors say Gardner beat Duarte with a hammer and stole several hundred dollars from him. The body was found four days later.

Gardner was arrested in Westport, Conn., after a police chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.

Gardner’s attorney has refused comment.

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Information from: The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com

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