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Associated Press, Published November 10 2010

Murder convictions upheld in Grand Forks drug slaying

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Supreme Court has upheld the murder and conspiracy convictions of two men in connection with the slaying of a Grand Forks father and son nine years ago.

Joseph Moncada and Billy Aguero were found guilty of killing Robert and Damien Belgarde in September 2001. The bodies of the Belgardes were found in a rural area near Grand Forks.

Aguero and Moncada say they had to wear leg restraints during their trial in June 2009. They say the restraints may have prejudiced jurors against them.

Moncada protested delays in holding the trial, and Aguero objected to an investigator's statement that he had declined to answer a question.

The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions. Moncada and Aguero are both serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.