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Special judge holds closed hearing for motion in case of slain Texarkana square dancer


TEXARKANA, Arkansas — A special judge has held a closed hearing on a motion in the capital murder trial of a woman charged with killing a fellow member of a square dance club.

The Texarkana Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1QaNmtx ) that Judge Randy Wright closed the Friday hearing at the request of attorneys for Virginia Ann Hyatt. Hyatt is charged with killing Patti Wheelington because she allegedly believed Wheelington was responsible for the end of Hyatt's marriage.

Hyatt has pleaded not guilty and is jailed on $1 million bond.

Defense attorneys said public arguments on a motion filed by prosecutors could prejudice potential jurors.

The motion asks that testimony from witnesses about statements Wheelington made to a man who has since died be allowed as an exception to so-called hearsay testimony. No ruling was announced.

Information from: Texarkana Gazette, http://www.texarkanagazette.com

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