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Prosecution rests in trial of prisoner accused of strangling inmate on bus from Hagerstown

May 08, 2008

BEL AIR, Md. (AP) -- Prosecutors have rested their case against a two-time convicted killer on trial for his life in the slaying of another inmate aboard a prison bus.

The final state witness was prisoner Patrick Cook, who testified he was sitting directly behind Kevin Johns when Johns allegedly killed Philip Parker Jr. in February 2005.

The bus was traveling in darkness from Hagerstown to Baltimore, but Cook testified he saw Johns hook Parker with his left arm and pull back. Cook said he saw Johns rise from his seat and choke Parker again until he wasn't breathing.

Defense attorneys attacked Cook's credibility and questioned his letter to Carroll County prosecutors highlighting his role as a state witness in a capital case.

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The defense is scheduled to begin calling witnesses Monday.

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