Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trial starts in Hazleton homicide case

Breon Judon is facing homicide and other charges in death of Aaron Reznick

September 30. 2013 11:07PM

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WILKES-BARRE —A Luzerne County jury was selected Monday to hear the case of a Hazleton man charged with robbing and killing another man in an alleged drug deal gone bad in August 2012.

Breon Judon, 20, is facing homicide and other related charges in the death of 29-year-old Aaron Reznick, of Hazleton.

A jury was selected Monday and will hear opening statements in the case this morning. County Judge Richard Hughes is presiding over the case.

Attorneys in the case say the trial will last through the week.

Hazleton police and Luzerne County detectives alleged Mitchell Dedes, 18, and Judon met Reznick with the intent of selling him crack cocaine and the deal went sour at some point.

In a statement to the police, Judon said Dedes became upset after Reznick told him he did not have any money and offered to use his iPhone as collateral. Dedes pulled a gun and demanded Reznick give him the phone, then ordered him to strip and get into the trunk of his car, according to court records.

But Dedes, in his statement, said Judon pulled the gun after Reznick gave them the cellphone as payment for the drugs and became angry after he realized the phone was broken. He then ordered Reznick into the trunk.

Reznick was found unconscious in the road near 10th and Carson streets in Hazleton just after midnight on Aug. 4, 2012. He died nine days later at Lehigh Valley Hospital. An autopsy revealed he died from multiple blunt force trauma to the head.

Last month, Dedes pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9. It is unknown if Dedes will testify at Judon’s trial.

Judon’s attorney, Allyson Kacmarski, made a request Monday that she be permitted to mention to jurors that Dedes has pleaded guilty in the case, but said she would not specifically say what he pleaded guilty to.

Kacmarski also asked that several color autopsy photos not be shown to jurors. Hughes said he would take each matter under advisement and issue rulings before the trial began.

Last week, Hughes ruled statements Judon made to investigators will be allowed to be used at his trial, but prosecutors will not be able to mention Judon is allegedly involved in a street gang.

Prosecutors can mention prior crimes that involved Judon carrying a gun, Hughes ruled.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dan Zola and Mamie Phillips.

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