Prosecutors oppose dismissal of kidnapping charges
A U.S. Marshall escorts Thomas Steven Sanders, right, out of the U.S. District Courthouse in Alexandria, La. after a detention hearing on Friday, November 19, 2010. Sanders, who was declared dead in 1994, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the kidnapping of 12-year-old Lexis Roberts of Las Vegas, which allegedly resulted in her death. (AP Photo/The Town Talk, Tia Owens-Powers)Photo: Image by AP
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Prosecutors say a judge should not dismiss the kidnapping indictment against a white man who says blacks were systematically excluded from the grand jury pool.
Thomas Steven Sanders was declared dead in Mississippi in 1994. He surfaced in 2010 as a suspect in the deaths of his Las Vegas girlfriend and her daughter.
Sanders was indicted in U.S. District Court Alexandria, La., after the child's body was found in Louisiana.
His lawyers recently asked the Louisiana judge to dismiss the indictment based on arguments that blacks were excluded from the jury pool.
The victims are white.
Prosecutors say in a filing Thursday that African Americans made up 26 percent of Sanders' grand jury and 32 percent of the area's population.
They say that's "a fair cross-section of the community."