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Testimony ends in 69-year-old woman’s murder trial

YORK (AP) — A jury is preparing to hear closing arguments in the case of a 69-year-old Gaffney woman charged with murder in the death of her boyfriend.

Prosecutors say Julia Phillips arranged the death of 79-year-old attorney Melvin Roberts at his home in York in February 2010.

Authorities say Roberts was killed when someone beat him over the head, fired a gunshot to keep him still after he fell to the ground, then wrapped a zip tie around his neck and pulled it tight while keeping a foot on his back for traction.

Prosecutors don’t think the frail Phillips is the killer. No one else has been charged in Roberts’ killing and Phillips’ lawyer says there is no direct evidence linking her to the death.

Closing statements are set for Thursday.


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