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KENMORE MAN IS INDICTED IN FELLNER SLAYING

Brian R. Hilligas was indicted Wednesday in the beating and strangulation of his girlfriend in his Kenmore home last month.

One day after Hilligas' mother testified under court order, an Erie County grand jury charged him with two counts of second-degree murder in the slaying of Kathleen A. Fellner on Nov. 23.

District Attorney Frank J. Clark said Hilligas, 28, who has been jailed since he went to Kenmore police at his mother's urging hours after the attack, will be arraigned next week.

Hilligas is being held in the Erie County Holding Center.

Clark said Ms. Fellner died of "blunt-force trauma to the head and manual strangulation."

Hilligas was acquitted of felony charges three years ago for slashing and kicking two male members of a Canadian rock band in the men's room of an Allen Street bar. Hilligas' attorneys are Vincent E. Doyle III and Terrence M. Connors.

Clark and homicide prosecutor Patricia I. Carrington confirmed that Hilligas' attorneys chose not to let him testify before the grand jury.

On Monday, State Supreme Court Justice Mario J. Rossetti, at the request of prosecutors, ordered Hilligas' mother, Kathleen Hilligas, to tell the grand jury what her son had told her before she urged him to surrender to Kenmore police.

Mrs. Hilligas testified for about 30 minutes Tuesday.

Clark said Hilligas showed up at police headquarters several hours after the Nov. 23 attack and told officers only that his girlfriend "was at his house, sick, injured, maybe dead."

Hilligas had known Ms. Fellner in high school and renewed the friendship about a year ago. Earlier this month, Rossetti ordered him to submit to DNA testing in the case.

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