Defense tells jurors to ignore US intervention in Iowa trial

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — The lawyer for a man charged with killing a gender-fluid Iowa teenager is urging jurors not to treat the case any differently knowing that a prominent federal prosecutor is involved.

Curt Dial, attorney for 23-year-old Jorge Sanders-Galvez, said during jury selection Wednesday that the “law applies the same whether we have one prosecutor or three prosecutors.”

Dial was referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to assign hate crimes prosecutor Christopher Perras to assist local authorities.

Sanders-Galvez is charged with first-degree murder in the March 2016 death of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, a Burlington High School junior who alternated between male and female personas.

Lawyers spent Tuesday and Wednesday picking 12 jurors and three alternates to hear the case. Opening statements are expected Thursday. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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