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Jury Selection Begins in Retrial of Springfield Murder Suspect

wilhite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A second trial is set to begin for a man who insists he was wrongly convicted in a 2008 killing outside a neighborhood market in Springfield.

A judge last year granted a new trial to Charles Wilhite after a key prosecution witness recanted his original identification of Wilhite as the shooter of Alberto Rodriguez.

Nathan Perez testified that he was pressured into identifying Wilhite as the shooter by a Springfield police detective and an assistant district attorney. Both the detective and prosecutor denied pressuring Perez.

Wilhite and co-defendant Angel Hernandez, the owner of the market, were convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors alleged that Hernandez had an ongoing feud with Rodriguez and paid Wilhite to shoot him.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Hampden Superior Court.