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Rape, murder case headline busy trial week

LAWRENCEVILLE - A teenager charged with a crime spree that rattled a Stone Mountain neighborhood in 2007 is set to stand trial this week.

Darrian Bryant, of Stone Mountain, will face rape, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and multiple burglary counts in Gwinnett Superior Court. Jury selection in the trial, expected to last at least a week, begins Monday.

The alleged burglaries started in June 2006 and culminated with the rape of a 15-year-old girl in March 2007.

The majority of the crimes happened at East Parke, a Stone Mountain neighborhood where Bryant, then 17, and the rape victim lived. Following his arrest, a Gwinnett police detective testified blood spatter was lifted from Bryant's Air Jordan shoes that matched the victim's.

The detective said Bryant, then a Parkview High School student, slammed the girl's head through a lamp and beat her with a vase after breaking into her home and raping her.

Bryant is accused of two other burglaries resulting in battery charges at East Parke, as well as a burglary at Cedarwood Drive in Lilburn, about six miles from his neighborhood.

A grand jury indicted Bryant in June 2007.

In an effort to quell community concern in the East Parke area, Gwinnett police announced the charges against Bryant at a special called meeting with residents in April that year.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil will preside.

Also Monday, jury selection is expected to begin in the murder trial of Larry Daniely, 27.

The Atlanta man is accused of stabbing Michael Anthony Black Jr., 19, to death outside the Norcross Extended Stay hotel last March.

Daniely is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony.

Police said the two men began fighting after a group of people squabbled near the hotel, located off Jimmy Carter Boulevard on Pelican Drive. Daniely allegedly stabbed the teen and fled Gwinnett.

A Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department fugitive squad arrested Daniely in DeKalb County two days later.

The case is expected to last at least a week. Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor will preside.

Prosecutors in both cases did not return calls for comment Friday.