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Suspect in death of 2 Chilean students goes before court

May 15, 2015

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The suspect in the shooting death of two youths after a demonstration in Chile was ordered on Friday to remain in custody while an investigation is carried out.

A judge in the port city of Valparaiso ordered Giuseppe Briganti, 20, to be held while prosecutors gather evidence over the next 90 days. Briganti is accused of shooting 18-year-old Exequiel Borbaran and 25-year-old Diego Guzman on Thursday in Valparaiso. Both attended university in the nearby city of Vina del Mar.

During a three-hour hearing Friday, prosecutors said 15 witnesses identified Briganti as the shooter. They said he had argued and threatened the men for spraying graffiti and putting up a poster on the wall of his building following a student protest. About 200 people protested the deaths outside the court room.

Police say they found a 9-mm gun and 42 grams of cocaine in Briganti’s home, but he has denied any wrongdoing.

Students held candlelit vigils overnight in Valparaiso, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Santiago. President Michelle Bachelet condemned the killings as “irrational and unjustified.”

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