Closing arguments scheduled in commune leader’s trial

(AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The trial of a Kansas commune leader accused of killing a member and living off life insurance payouts is wrapping up this week.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday in the trial of 55-year-old Daniel Perez, who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the 2003 drowning of 26-year-old Patricia Hughes at the group’s compound in the Wichita suburb of Kechi.

Attorneys announced Tuesday that Perez now faces 28 charges, rather than the original 37. No reason for the change was given in court.

Several women testified that Perez, also known as Lou Castro, coerced them into sexual encounters when they were underage. Others testified about millions of dollars in life insurance policies sold to people associated with Perez who later died.

Perez testified and denied all the allegations.



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