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Man accused of slaying claims self-defense

Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A man accused of murder said he killed a Minnesota man in self-defense after a night of drinking and arguing.

Jaramy Alford, 22, was charged with the Nov. 3 slaying of his former roommate Douglas Miller, 32, in Miller's mobile home in New Brighton, Minn.,

Alford's 17-year-old brother, Luis, is facing the same charge.

"Yeah, I feel bad about it," Jaramy Alford told The Gazette in a jailhouse interview. "I feel sorry for him. But it wasn't my intent to kill him, just beat ... him."

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Miller's body was found inside his burned mobile home with up to 20 stab wounds on the front and back of his body and a blunt force blow to his head, according to the Ramsey County, Minn., attorney's office.

Police believe the brothers set fire to the home to conceal the crime. They were arrested the day after Miller's death in separate family residences in Van Horne, a Benton County town west of Cedar Rapids.

Investigators have said the brothers confessed to the killings, but Jaramy Alford said he did it.

Sitting in the Johnson County Jail awaiting extradition to Minnesota, Jaramy Alford told the newspaper that he had been drinking heavily with his brother and Miller the night of the killing.

He said he had returned from the bathroom to see Miller holding a gun to the back of his brother's head.

"What would you do if you saw somebody pull a gun on your brother?" Jaramy Alford said.

He described hitting Miller on the back of the head with an object and his brother kicking Miller once on the floor.

He declined to say what they were arguing about, saying only that Miller was "a power trip kind of guy."

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Jaramy Alford's version of events conflicts with the police investigation, which turned up no firearms, said Jim Konen, an assistant Ramsey County attorney.

"I know he's claimed self-defense before. ... I don't know if stabbing him 20 times and setting his place on fire is self-defense, even if you assume what he's saying is true," Konen said.

The jailhouse interview turned up other contradictions: Jaramy Alford told police he set fire to the home but denied doing so in the interview.

Miller's final autopsy results, which may include information on any alcohol consumption, will be released when Jaramy Alford appears in court in Minnesota.

No date has been set.

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