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Trial begins for man charged in 2011 death

By Associated Press 12:46 PM March 17, 2014

Suspect plead guilty and changed his mind

FAIRBANKS, Alaska  - A trial is beginning for a 21-year-old Fairbanks man who is charged with second-degree murder in the 2011 death of an acquaintance after an argument.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Cornelius Everett Jr. pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter and accepted a 15-year prison term for his role in the death of 55-year-old Johnson Griffin at a Fairbanks apartment.

Everett later changed his mind eight days later, saying his court-appointed attorney coerced him into pleading guilty.

Superior Court judge Michael MacDonald released him from the plea deal. The judge, however, declined to grant a new court-appointed attorney.

In June 2011, Griffin was found dead in his Northward Building apartment.

Everett was later identified as a suspect.

He was scheduled to begin trial Monday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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