Defense Says Arlen Briggs Killed Bradford County Deputies

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 1, 2006 at 9:38 PM EDT

The defense put witnesses on the stand who have testified they heard Dustin's father, Arlen, admit to killing the men.

29-year-old Dustin Briggs is on trial for murder, accused of gunning down Bradford County Sheriff's Deputies Christopher Burgert and Michael Van Kuren.

April Harris was at Brigg's home in Gillet the day the deputies were shot while trying to serve a warrant.

April, her mother, sister and stepfather told the jury they heard Arlen Briggs say he and his other son, Mark, were the ones who shot the deputies in the junkyard.

The Harris family says Arlen told them that after the shootings, he went inside, washed his hands and burned his clothes in a wood stove.

"Witnesses testified that he, Arlen Briggs, had testified that Dustin was way back up in the back of the yard, and wasn't even around when that happened," said defense attorney George Lepley.

Lepley also called to the stand some officers who interviewed Brigg's brother, Mark.

But the judge would not allow three other defense witnesses to testify.

Briggs' Attorney, George Lepley, says they would have told the jury that Dustin Briggs went to a court hearing the day before the deputies were killed, and that Dustin expected to be arrested on a warrant then.

"For whatever reason, he wasn't arrested on that bench warrant. The point was the day before he was fully expecting to be taken into custody, i.e., why would he do this on the 31st if he were prepared to go into custody on the 30th?" asked Lepley.

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