Trial ordered for another man in Pennsylvania slayings case

READING, Pa. - February 5, 2014

Steven Guzman-Rodriguez, 30, of Kenhorst, was charged in December with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and witness intimidation in the death of one of the two victims.

Charges against Juan Carlos Claudio, 30, are pending in the January 2012 slayings of 23-year-old Geovanie Collazo-Rosa and 51-year-old Efrain Lopez-Collazo following a long-running feud between Reading families. Police said a trail of blood from the scene led them to two nearby homes where they found evidence.

Just before trial last fall, a judge dismissed first- and third-degree murder and conspiracy charges against 21-year-old Wilfredo Rodriguez-Claudio, saying there was insufficient evidence to support them. Jurors later acquitted him of attempted murder in the wounding of another man during the shootings.

Claudio took the stand in Tuesday's preliminary hearing for Guzman-Rodriguez, who is charged only in the killing of Collazo-Rosa, The Reading Eagle reported. Claudio said Guzman-Rodriguez had told him the day after the shooting that he had killed the men. Under cross-examination, he said he was at the scene and acknowledged that he fired a gun from a porch on the block but said he didn't shoot at anyone or hit anyone.

Defense attorney Douglas Waltman accused Claudio of simply trying to blame someone else for the killings and called for dismissal of the charges.

"This is the thinnest of possible cases," he said, adding that prosecutors had no witnesses identifying his client as being the one who fired the shots.


Information from: Reading Eagle,

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