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Suspect in Wesleyan Killing Returns to Court

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File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) _ A man charged in the shooting death of a Wesleyan University student is returning to court to tell a judge whether he wants his trial heard by a jury or three-judge panel.

Thirty-one-year-old Stephen Morgan of Marblehead, Mass., is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Thursday. He’s charged with murder in the May 2009 killing of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich of Timnath, Colo., in a bookstore cafe near the Middletown campus.

Morgan’s lawyer, Richard Brown, is expected to mount a defense of mental disease or defect. Defendants in such cases often choose three-judge panels for trials because the legal issues are complex.

A trial date may also be set Thursday.

Police say Morgan killed Justin-Jinich two years after she filed a harassment complaint against him when they attended New York University.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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