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Judge will allow death penalty in Phoenix serial killings

October 5, 2018

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows Aaron Juan Saucedo. The judge in the case against Saucedo, on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, denied a request by his defense team who want the death penalty barred because a jailhouse video of the suspect was released to news media. The former Phoenix bus driver has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in attacks that killed nine people and wounded two others during a nearly one-year period that ended in July 2016. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge in a serial killing case against a former bus driver in Phoenix denied a request Friday by defense lawyers who want the death penalty barred because a jailhouse video of the suspect was released to news media.

Superior Court Judge David Cunanan said there was no basis for the request.

Aaron Juan Saucedo has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in attacks that killed nine people and wounded two others. He did not attend Friday’s hearing.

The jailhouse video showed him talking on the phone and looking out the window of a cell door.

Saucedo’s defense lawyers have said in court papers that the release of the video to The Arizona Republic and other news organizations violated their client’s constitutional right to bodily privacy.

Police have said the victims in the case included a 21-year-old man whose girlfriend was pregnant, and a 12-year-old girl who was shot to death along with her mother and a friend of the woman.

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