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DA THREATENED TO INDICT STRA, ATTORNEY SAYS

The attorney for the mother of slain 7-year-old Samantha Zaldivar said Monday that Wyoming County District Attorney Gerald Stout threatened to indict his client for murder if she did not undergo a lie detector test and answer questions for a grand jury.

"He said that he could indict her as a principal, as an accomplice and, at the minimum, for removing Samantha's body from the trailer," said Anthony Irrera, who has been representing Rachel Stra since shortly after Samantha disappeared Feb. 26.

Samantha's body was found May 23 buried in a cornfield across the road from her home in Hermitage Meadows Trailer Park.

Irrera charged that Stout has tried to undermine his reputation by making disparaging public statements that have led people to think he (Irrera) is not competent. He said that Stout "lied to me about the evidence."

Irrera countered the threat of indictment last week by bringing in prominent trial attorney Paul Cambria of Buffalo to defend Ms. Stra against possible first-degree murder charges.

Authorities are attempting to extradite Ms. Stra's boyfriend, Angel Colon, from Florida to answer questions in the case. Colon describes himself as the leading suspect but has not been charged.

"I've never evaluated evidence in a capital murder case, but I know it doesn't take much to get an indictment," Irrera said. "I should be commended for acknowledging that I am inexperienced about this and that I went out and got someone who has the knowledge to defend my client."

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