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JACKET THEFT CALLED MOTIVE IN 2 KILLINGS

A suspect in a double killing in downtown Albany said the motive was to steal expensive jackets, a detective testified.

Police Detective Bernard Santandrea said Monday that Justin Franklin, 18, of Troy, told him that he was one of four young men who spent the early hours of Dec. 19 drinking alcohol and buying marijuana, then cruising around in a car, looking for someone to rob.

The youths targeted big, puffy Avirex jackets that sell for $200 or more.

"They were looking to rob someone; they were looking to get jackets," Santandrea said. "If they didn't take someone out, they would 'blaze the area,' meaning they would shoot it up."

The detective testified in a preliminary hearing in City Court for Franklin, one of four men charged in the slaying of Larry O. Miller, 18, and Lamel W. Robinson, 17, both of Albany.

All four suspects, including Jesus "Giovanni" LeBron, 19, of Troy, and Aaron Bebo, 24, and Shymal Curry, 19, both of Albany, are charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

All could face the death penalty.

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