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ValuJet Case Dismissal Urged

Prosecutors rested their case Monday in the criminal conspiracy trial stemming from the 1996 crash of a ValuJet DC-9 that killed 110 people, prompting requests by the defense to end the trial for lack of evidence.

Nearly two dozen prosecution witnesses have testified since a jury was chosen Nov. 15 to hear the first criminal trial arising from the crash.

ValuJet Flight 592 crashed in the Everglades shortly after taking off from Miami International Airport on May 11, 1996, killing everyone on board.

ValuJet’s maintenance contractor, SabreTech Inc., and two SabreTech employees are charged with mishandling hazardous materials that sparked a fire in the cargo hold, sending the jet out of control.

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Defense attorneys asked the judge for an acquittal, arguing that the prosecution had not proved its case.

U.S. District Judge James King said he would hear rebuttal from the prosecution today before ruling. He said defense testimony could wrap up this week.

The 24-count indictment charges that the fire was started by improperly packed oxygen-generating canisters.


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