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BOSTON -- Almost five years to the day after 14-year-old Chauntae Jones was stabbed, beaten with a rock and buried alive, a second man went on trial Monday in her killing and the death of her unborn daughter.
Lord Hampton, 25, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the September 1999 deaths. His friend, Kyle Bryant, who was Jones' boyfriend and the father of her child, was acquitted of identical charges in April, infuriating Jones' family and friends.
Jones was eight months pregnant when she disappeared just weeks after starting eighth grade. Her body was found more than a month later, buried in a shallow grave on the grounds of the old Boston State Hospital.
In opening statements Monday, Assistant District Attorney David Meier said both Hampton and Bryant were equally responsible for the deaths.
Hampton and Bryant were "two men together with a purpose and a plan" who plotted every detail of the killing and then carried it out, Meier said.
"Two men who together butchered that 14-year-old girl, using a rock, using a brick, using a knife, using a shovel," he said.
Hampton's attorney, Randy Gioia, said Hampton was made the "fall guy, the scapegoat" by prosecutors eager to hold someone responsible for the gruesome crime.
Gioia said Hampton had no reason to kill Jones, but Bryant did. Three months before Jones was killed, a juvenile court judge said he planned to notify the district attorney's office about Jones' pregnancy for possible prosecution of Bryant on statutory rape charges. Jones was 13 when she became pregnant; Bryant was 17.
"Kyle Bryant had a reason to kill Chauntae Jones and he killed her -- either alone or with others -- and then he buried her body in a shallow grave to basically get rid of a rape charge and avoid detection," Gioia said.
During Bryant's trial, the defense blamed Hampton for the killing.
In a tape-recording of a police interview played for the jury, Bryant said he watched "like a dummy" while Jones pleaded with him to help her as Hampton stabbed her and hit her with a rock, then buried her.
Bryant eventually took police to the site where Jones was buried.