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Two cousins who are charged with killing a Chattanooga, Tenn., pastor are seeking separate trials, each in hope of convincing a jury that the other one is responsible for the crime.
In October 2010 the Reverend David Strong of the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was brutally tortured and stabbed to death. In May cousins Brendan Barnes, 17, and Antonio Henry, 26, were indicted for the murder.
While, in his initial statement to police, Henry said he and his cousin had stabbed Strong after the pastor made unwanted sexual advances, he later said the pastor had previously paid him for sex and that Barnes, who will be tried as an adult, had committed the crime alone.
Attorneys for the two defendants are seeking separate trials, saying it would not be fair to try the two men together because of their conflicting statements. District Attorney Bill Cox believes Barnes and Henry committed the crime together and should be tried together.
Strong's relatives say the slain pastor was not gay. His church, the world's oldest and largest predominantly black denomination, has opposed most gay rights initiatives, including ordination of openly gay clergy and marriage equality.
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