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Friday, May 29, 2009

Abner decides not to testify in Viola case

The Wichita Eagle
Jaime Oppenheimer/The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA - Robert Abner told a judge late this afternoon that he has opted not to testify in his own defense to charges of robbery, kidnapping, rape and sodomy.
The brief exchange between Abner and Judge David Kaufman came after testimony ended in Abner's trial, which began Tuesday in Sedgwick County District Court.
The 40-year-old is accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a Viola convenience store clerk last June. Abner is accused of holding her at his north Wichita rental home for four days before dropping her off outside her family's minister's home.
Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Monday morning. Then the jury will begin deliberations.
Earlier today, Abner's sister testified that last summer he told her he had robbed a convenience store and was going to turn himself in to authorities after going to Oregon to "clear his head."
Abner was later arrested in Oregon.
Also Friday, through their questioning, attorneys on both sides again sparred over whether the store clerk, Joyce Patterson, was forced to have sex.

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