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Accused student's murder trial set

Sept. 2, 2003

By Elvia Aguilar, reporter

The trial for former Baylor freshman Ryan James Frazier, 19, will begin in March 2004, according to the Victoria County District Attorney's Office, who set a pretrial date for Dec. 18.

Frazier was charged on Feb. 11 with the December murder of his parents, Daniel and Sally Frazier and his 17-year-old brother, John Michael Frazier. He remains in the Victoria County Jail after pleading not guilty March 18 in the 377th District Court. The district attorney's office is seeking the death penalty.

Steve Tyler, assistant criminal district attorney, said the trial process would begin after an extensive jury selection.

'The selection for a jury in a capital case may take quite a while,' Tyler said. 'We have to interview one juror at a time.'

Tyler said after the jury selection, the prosecutors also would take a few months to prepare the evidence they will present.

'The evidence needs to be presented in a fashion that is understandable so that jurors are aware of the details,' Tyler said. 'That takes lots of preparation.'

If a jury finds Frazier guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison or face the death penalty.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Web site, a Victoria County jury has sentenced two men to death since 1976; however, both of those were cases from other counties that had changes of venue. Police found the bodies of Daniel Frazier, 53, who worked with DuPont for 28 years, and Sally Frazier, 50, a longtime Mission Valley Elementary School teacher in their burned home 12 miles north of Victoria on Dec. 13, 2002. Autopsies determined the Fraziers died from multiple stab wounds. The family dog also was found dead in the back patio with stab wounds.

After the bodies were discovered, Frazier's grandfather drove to Baylor to tell him about the deaths and bring him back to Victoria, three days later he was charged with murder in connection with his family's deaths.