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TRIAL STARTS FOR FUGITIVE IN TRAFFIC DEATH OF OFFICER

Jury selection began today for Rastesfa M. Decosta's manslaughter trial in the death of Buffalo Police Officer Robert J. McLellan in February. McLellan was hit by a car as police and Maryland bounty hunters chased Decosta across the Kensington Expressway.

Decosta, who has been jailed without bail, is charged with second-degree, or reckless, manslaughter in the officer's death at about 6:30 a.m. Feb. 25.

Decosta was running from the five bounty hunters, who had come to Buffalo to return the fugitive to Maryland. McLellan, 35, was chasing the fugitive across the expressway when he was killed by a car on the inbound lanes.

Decosta is still wanted in Maryland for jumping bail in drug cases. Court officials said his manslaughter trial, before Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury, will last at least two weeks.

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