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One trial date set in Warren murder case

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FAIRMONT -- One of two Marion County teen-agers accused of killing a gay black man is scheduled to stand trial on July 23 in Beckley, court officials said Thursday.

David Parker, 18, of Grant Town is charged with first-degree murder in last summer's beating death of 26-year-old Arthur "J.R." Warren, with whom he had a sexual relationship.

Marion County Circuit Judge David Janes has set aside a week for the trial, his secretary said. It is not expected to run much longer than that.

The trial has been postponed several times, most recently after problems arose coordinating the schedules of defense experts and witnesses. Prosecutors also wanted more time to have a psychiatric evaluation performed.

Parker's co-defendant, Jared Wilson, 18, of Fairview, is still tentatively scheduled to face trial May 29 in Wheeling.

Both trials were relocated after a judge ruled an impartial jury could not be seated in Marion County.

Both teen-agers could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of killing Warren last July 4.

Investigators say the beating began when Parker became angry with Warren for telling others about their relationship. Wilson says he took part in the beating under threats from Parker.

Both suspects were 17 at the time.

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