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Testimony videotaped in Reid case

September 22, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With jury selection a week away, Franklin County Judge John R. Walker on Monday closed a hearing during which videotape testimony was taken in the double-homicide trial of Albert Reid.

Citing state law, Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson said testimony from two prosecution witnesses should not be made public "until and unless it is admitted at trial."

Walker agreed that making the testimony public could complicate the selection of a jury and possibly result in the trial having to be moved.

Jury selection, which could take several days, is to begin Monday.

Nelson said his two witnesses were Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Mike Ruda and Dr. Rafael Martinez of Miami, Fla., "an expert in Afro-Caribbean cults and religions." He said both will be unavailable to testify when the trial begins on Oct. 5.

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According to Nelson, Ruda testified about physical evidence. He would not comment about whether the testimony of either man dealt with what a Feb. 13, 1997, state police affidavit of probable cause referred to as a "death list."

Police described it as a paper with several names on it and a drawing of a headstone. The affidavit said it was found when police searched Reid's room at the Roselawn Motel near Chambersburg after the Dec. 27, 1996, murders of his estranged wife, Carla Reid, 36, and her daughter, Deidre Moore.

Albert Reid, 49, of Biglerville, Pa., was awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault involving Moore at the time she and her mother were shot.

The paper had on it the names of the victims, along with several people involved in the sexual assault case, including Nelson.

Nelson has informed the court he will seek the death penalty if Reid is convicted of first-degree murder.

Reid, who fired Public Defender Robert J. Trambley and co-counsel Stephen D. Kulla on Sept. 4, is acting as his own attorney.

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