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Trucker slaying trial nears end

Carl Gene McClung, a West Virginian, was asleep in his cattle truck at the Scrub-a-Truck wash on Nandino Boulevard in August 2003 when he was fatally shot three times.

On Monday, more than five years after the slaying, a Fayette County jury will hear closing arguments in the trial of the man charged in the slaying.

Marc A. Buchanan says he is innocent. A grand jury sided with him once before, dismissing charges in November 2005.

But prosecutors presented their case to another grand jury six months later and won an indictment on murder and robbery charges.

A co-defendant has already been tried and convicted. Jeremy D. Rice, who worked at the truck wash, was convicted of complicity to murder and robbery in September 2006. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

DNA on hair found in the truck matched Rice's, leading to his arrest in September 2004.

But the alleged shooter, Buchanan, was not arrested until September 2005.

No physical evidence links Buchanan to the slaying, defense attorneys say. Prosecutors are relying on testimony from the jailed associates of Rice, some of whom testified this week in prison jumpsuits.

One witness, Tommy Carpenter, told police that he drove Buchanan and Rice to the truck wash. Carpenter, who claims he did not know of plans to rob anyone, said he heard gunshots and saw Buchanan and Rice run back to the vehicle.

Carpenter, the brother of Buchanan's girlfriend at the time, was never charged.

But Buchanan's attorneys say he did not participate in the robbery and shooting. They say he was not even at the scene.

Defense attorneys have accused twin brothers and Rice of carrying out the slaying and using Buchanan as a "convenient schmuck" to take the blame.

One of the brothers, Adrian Brown, testified Thursday wearing a green jail jumpsuit and shackles. Brown had been asked by defense attorneys, who called him as their only witness, to change clothes for his testimony but he refused.

He also refused to be sworn in by Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine.

"I suppose so," he replied when Goodwine asked him to swear or affirm to tell the truth.

Brown eventually agreed to affirm he's being truthful.

Brown testified that he lied to police when he said in 2004 that he saw Buchanan and Rice drive to the truck stop in a "crack rental," a car lent to them in exchange for drugs.

"I was trying to save myself," Adrian Brown said of his statements to police. "I'd pretty much say anything."

Brown described the car as a red Ford Escort, contradicting his brother, Arian.

Arian Brown, who was the first to cut a deal with prosecutors, told police they drove a black truck.

Adrian Brown is serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter, robbery and burglary. Arian Brown was to testify against him at a trial for those cases. Arian Brown got a plea deal for 10 years on robbery and burglary charges connected with other robberies.

In cross-examination of Adrian Brown on Thursday, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Traci Caneer said that he had told police that Marc Buchanan confessed to the slaying during the Roots and Heritage festival.

Brown said he doesn't remember that.

Adrian Brown repeatedly denied remembering his statements to police or anything about the night of the slaying. He blamed it on "medication" that he's on.

"Does that oath, that affirmation you made mean anything to you?" defense attorney Scott Drabenstadt asked.

Adrian Brown shook his head no.