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Closing arguments in Al-Amin trial

ATLANTA,, Ga., March 8 (UPI) -- Prosecutors said Friday in closing arguments in the trial of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin that the former Black Panther known as H. Rap Brown murdered a police officer and injured his partner before fleeing the state two years ago.

As the case prepared to go to the jury, a defense attorney for the Muslim cleric said the prosecution never proved who fatally shot Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Ricky Kinchen and injured Deputy Aldranon English as they tried to serve a warrant on Al-Amin on March 16, 2000.

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Al-Amin did not take the stand in his own defense during the three-week trial in Fulton County Superior Court. If convicted, he could be given the death penalty for the shootings in a neighborhood near downtown Atlanta.

Even though the surviving deputy identified Al-Amin as the man who shot him and killed his partner, defense attorney Tony Axam said prosecutors never proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Al-Amin was the gunman.

"You do not have what I call a confession. You do not have what I call a fingerprint that says he's the one who held the guns that fired the trigger that shot Kinchen and shot English," Axam told a jury that includes nine blacks, two whites and one Hispanic.

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Assistant District Attorney Robert McBurney argued that Al-Amin's black 1978 Mercedes-Benz was recovered in a small Alabama town where Al-Amin was arrested four days after the shooting. He said bullets found in the car were linked to the deputies' handguns.

"Where was the defendant at 10 p.m. on March 16, 2000? He was standing outside his black Mercedes murdering Deputy Ricky Kinchen and trying to murder Deputy Aldranon English," he said.

"There is no conflicting evidence," McBurney said.

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