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Defendant admits burglary, denies rape

LAWRENCEVILLE - Testimony continued Friday in the trial of 19-year-old Darrian Dewayne Bryant, accused of multiple crimes that include several counts of burglary, and single counts of kidnapping and rape.

Bryant admits his involvement in the string of daytime burglaries two years ago in southeast Gwinnett, but he denies binding, beating and raping a then-15-year-old girl in her home after she came home from school on March 28, 2007.

Investigators said while serving a search warrant at Bryant's Lake Brook Run home on April 2, 2007, they found several items that had been reported stolen. They also found, they said, blood on a pair of Bryant's tennis shoes that matches the alleged victim.

The teen's attacker allegedly slammed her head through a lamp and struck her with a vase, cutting her forehead.

On the witness stand, Gwinnett County police Detective Roy Mangrum said when investigators told Bryant they had recovered a pair of blood-stained shoes from his room, he offered an explanation.

"He said those were his fighting shoes," Mangrum said. "When he and his boys were going out to fight, he would wear those shoes."

Mangrum said the search warrant was obtained after investigators began to focus on him as a primary suspect in the burglaries.

Mangrum said police believed the culprit would have to have "intimate knowledge" of the neighborhood - how to get in and out - since police had responded quickly to burglary calls and the perpetrator had already gotten away. The burglarized homes were in proximity to Bryant's residence, Mangrum said, and were connected by paths.

The detective said Bryant also matched the physical description given to police, Mangrum testified. Additionally, he said that a MySpace page bearing photos of Bryant showed him wearing red T-shirts, consistent with the suspect's description.

Assistant District Attorney Dawn Taylor said she expects to call the state's three last witnesses when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

It is undetermined whether Bryant will take the stand.

Both sides expect to rest Tuesday and believe Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil will charge the jury at that time.