Jurors consider death penalty in double murder case

Odis and Doris Newman
Odis and Doris Newman

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Defense attorneys for a Portales man convicted of killing an elderly couple whose bodies were found in their burned-out car told an Albuquerque jury today their client has had hardships in his life.

They say Stanley Bedford struggled in school, experienced racism while growing up and suffered from the loss of his parents, both of whom have died.

They called Bedford's sister and other relatives to the stand in hopes of showing jurors his softer side.

Defense attorneys say Bedford should NOT be sentenced to death for the August 2005 slayings of Odis and Doris Newman.

The sentencing proceeding is expected to last a week or more.

The defense plans to call more witnesses, and prosecutors have eleven witnesses -- including the victims' family members.