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Accused Killer Drops Trial Request

January 14, 2000

HOUSTON (AP) _ Angel Maturino Resendiz, suspected in the deaths of nine people while he was riding freight trains across the country, dropped a request Thursday to have his murder trial moved from Houston, saying he did not want to risk facing a jury composed of ``rednecks and Germans.″

Maturino Resendiz last week asked state District Judge Bill Harmon to move his trial in the 1998 slaying of Houston physician Claudia Benton to Austin, Waco or El Paso.

He specifically asked Harmon not to relocate to a city of German heritage, which Maturino Resendiz called ``Nazi enclaves.″ He said he feared them because he has Jewish beliefs.

Maturino Resendiz withdrew his motion after he was informed that Harmon could move the trial to any courthouse in Texas.

The judge also pushed jury selection back one month to March 27 to allow prosecutors and defense attorneys more time to prepare.

Maturino Resendiz is charged with capital murder in Benton’s death. Prosecutors are waiting for psychological profiles to be completed before formally seeking the death penalty.

Maturino Resendiz is suspected of killing nine people in Texas, Illinois and Kentucky. His surrender to Texas authorities July 13 was negotiated by relatives.

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