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Trial opens Tuesday in 2008 slayings of Pennsylvania couple while kids were locked in basement


BEAVER, Pennsylvania — Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday in the trial of the second man charged in the slaying the slaying of a western Pennsylvania couple four years ago.

Thirty-seven-year-old Robert Burgess is charged in Beaver County with homicide, kidnapping and robbery in the June 2008 murders of Richard and Demetria Harper.

Authorities say the victims were tied up and shot in the head in their Beaver Falls home in what authorities allege was a drug dispute while their 8- and 10-year-old daughters were locked in the basement.

The Beaver County Times ( ) reports that jury selection was completed Friday. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if Burgess is convicted of first-degree murder.

Twenty-seven-year-old Devon Shealey of Pittsburgh was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.

Information from: Beaver County Times,

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