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Case against suspect in slaying of Northeastern student revived by a letter he wrote to judge

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BOSTON — Fears that the man suspected of killing a Northeastern University student would never face trial because the key witness in the case died have been eased because of the suspect's own words.

There's no physical evidence connecting Cornell Smith to the May 2008 shooting death of 22-year-old Rebecca Payne, of New Milford, Connecticut.

The witness who could link Smith to Payne's apartment died in May, and prosecutors feared they would have to drop charges.

The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1FmIoC0 ) reports that Smith ties himself to Payne's death in a rambling, sometimes incomprehensible, six-page letter to a judge.

Prosecutors say Payne's shooting was a case of mistaken identity and Smith was after another woman who lived in the same building.

Smith's lawyer suggested the letter is just the rambling of a troubled man.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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