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Trial: 'Parents deserved to pay' by death

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MIAMI, July 8 (UPI) -- A black-sheep son asked a friend to kill his rich parents as payback for sending him to a boarding school, a prosecutor argued in a Florida murder trial.

Christopher Sutton, 31, accused of plotting to murder his father and mother in their luxury Coral Gables, Fla., home, allegedly seethed for years, enraged his parents shipped him off to an abusive boarding school in Western Samoa in the South Pacific, prosecutor Carin Kahgan told Miami-Dade Circuit Court jurors.

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Standing to inherit his father's wealth, Sutton masterminded a plan that left his mother dead and his father blind, Kahgan alleged.

He is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder and faces life in prison.

Sutton complained incessantly to his girlfriend "how his parents had taken two years of his life, how his parents deserved to pay, how he could find someone to kill his parents," Kahgan alleged.

He expressed his vengeance "like a broken record, on and on and over and over," The Miami Herald quoted Kahgan as saying in opening arguments.

Defense attorney Bruce Fleisher said in his opening statement that Sutton's friend Garrett Kopp was solely responsible for the Aug. 22, 2004, shootings and that Kopp sought to shift the blame to Sutton to avoid a harsh sentence.

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Kopp, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Kopp is expected to testify against Sutton, the Herald said.

Fleisher described the break-in of the Sutton house before the shootings as Kopp acting in a drug-influenced stupor, looking for cash and narcotics.

"He needed drugs to use, needed drugs to sell, and he needed money," the Herald quoted Fleisher as saying.

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