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Murder Trial Of Bakersfield School Official Continues

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) __ Prosecutors in the trial of a popular Bakersfield school official charged with murdering his family are relying heavily on circumstantial evidence, while the defense is pointing to D-N-A evidence that didn´t match the suspect´s.

Vincent Brothers is charged in the deaths of his estranged wife, their three children, and his mother-in-law, Earnestine Harper. The victims were found shot and stabbed to death in the family´s home in Bakersfield on July 8th, 2003.

Brothers has pleaded not guilty to the murders, and claims he was out of town when the killings occurred. His preliminary hearing began yesterday. That´s when a judge will decide whether there´s enough evidence against Brothers to try him.

Prosecutor Lisa Green offered little hard evidence that Brothers was in Bakersfield on the day the family was killed. But Bakersfield Police Sergeant Jeff Watts described the bloody scene police found after being called to the Harper home by a family friend.

Brothers covered his ears during the gruesome testimony. And defense attorney Anthony Bryan told the judge D-N-A that did not match the defendant´s was found under the fingernail of at least one victim.

He also says blond hairs were found in Joanie Harper´s underwear. She´s black.