Man accused of killing 5 NJ teens: I'm innocent

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey man accused of burning five teenagers alive in 1978 is telling a jury he is innocent of the murder charges and there is no evidence to connect him to the crime.

Lee Evans has been representing himself and is giving his own closing argument Friday in court in Newark.

Evans is pointing out what he says are major inconsistencies in witness testimony.

The state’s main witness testified that he and Evans lured the boys to a vacant Newark home, trapped them in a closet and set it ablaze in retaliation for stolen marijuana.

The teen’s bodies were never recovered and their disappearance became one of the state’s longest running cold cases.

A judge denied two earlier motions for a mistrial, but has criticized the prosecution’s conduct throughout the trial.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.