Skype Testimony From Iraq Helps Convict Conroe Murderer

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A man was convicted of murder in Conroe based partly on testimony delivered via Skype from an Army base in Iraq.

A Conroe police officer who had been involved in the investigation into the December 2008 murder is serving now in the Texas National Guard in Iraq; after some initial delays in setting up the connection due to bomb attacks at his compound, the officer was able to testify and introduce evidence including DNA, fingerprints and gunshot residue, prosecutor Warren Diepraam said.

Luis Enrique Rivera was sentenced to life without parole Friday for the murder of a Mexican national, here in the U.S. legally, after the man had given him a ride from a restaurant.

He and another man, yet to be tried, "planned the robbery to prey on innocent victims from Latin America that they thought would not remain around for long," prosecutors said. Judge Lisa Michalk allowed the Skype testimony, which Diepraam said was "the first time in Texas that a witness has testified through that medium in a case of this nature."

Another witness was testifying when the Skype connection actually came through, so prosecutors interrupted the questioning in order to get the testimony in from Iraq while they could.

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