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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  November 19, 2004
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Closing arguments in sausage factory shooting case feature video
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OAKLAND, Calif. Before he shot three meat inspectors to death, California sausage manufacturer Stuart Alexander turned on his factory's surveillance video system.

The resulting tape shows Alexander loading his handguns and ambushing four inspectors, one of whom escaped.

How jurors in Oakland interpret the tape could mean the difference between convictions for first-degree murder and lesser crimes, like voluntary manslaughter.

In closing arguments at Alexander's trial, a prosecutor said the tape and the defendant's repeated statements that he planned to kill the inspectors show the premeditation.

But defense lawyers argue that Alexander snapped under the pressure of months-long harassment by the inspectors.

Prosecutors also accuse Alexander of feigning mental illness to avoid the death penalty, something he apparently talked about before the killings.

The jury is expected to have the case by Thursday.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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