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Man on trial in '03 death

LAWRENCEVILLE - Closing arguments begin today in the murder trial of a 33-year-old convicted felon who is charged in the August 2003 slaying of a DeKalb County man in Gwinnett County.

Kenneth Earl Kendrick, a.k.a Kenneth Kendricks, is charged with murder, two counts of felony murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the commission of a felony, said Gwinnett County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dawn Taylor.

If convicted, Kendrick could face up to life in prison plus 15 years, she said.

Kendrick is represented by court-appointed attorney Robert Walker.

The trial began Monday with Judge Richard Winegarden presiding.

Taylor said Kendrick, who was previously convicted in Missouri of unlawful use of a weapon, allegedly shot 20-year-old J'Muar Undrelle Taylor twice in the head while the victim was attempting to steal Kendrick's car.

District Attorney Danny Porter said Kendrick can only be sentenced to one life sentence, even if he is convicted on all three murder charges. The extra 15 years would be for the firearm possession charge.

A malice murder is "an intentional killing with malice aforethought," Porter said.

Felony murder is when someone causes the death of another while committing a felony, Porter said.

For example, when someone robs a liquor store and the clerk dies of a heart attack as the result of the stress of the robbery, the suspect can be charged with felony murder, Porter said.

"There doesn't have to be an intent to kill the victim," Porter said.