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Jury selection resumes in murder trial of Kansas commune leader charged in death of member


WICHITA, Kansas — Jury selection resumes in the trial of the leader and self-proclaimed seer of a Kansas commune accused in the 2003 drowning of a woman whose death he had foretold weeks earlier.

Fifty-five-year-old Daniel U. Perez returns to court Tuesday for his trial for first-degree premeditated murder of Patricia Hughes at the group's compound in the Wichita suburb of Valley Center. Prosecutors say the group lived off life insurance payouts from its dead members.

Witnesses have testified Perez called himself a seer and portrayed him as a domineering leader who kept a tight rein on his young, mostly female followers.

Perez also faces multiple counts of lying on life insurance applications, rape, sodomy, criminal threat, making false statements on auto credit applications and sexual exploitation of a child.

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