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Commentary & News Briefs
March 7, 2005
Compiled by Jody Brown

Officials in the Coptic Christian Church say they're relieved that religious fanaticism apparently wasn't the motive behind the killing of an Egyptian Christian family in New Jersey. A tenant who rented an upstairs apartment and another man are charged with murdering the Jersey City family during a robbery. The bodies of the father, mother, and their 15- and 8-year-old daughters were found in January. Members of the Coptic Christian community had feared that they were killed by Islamic extremists who were angered by the father's web chat-room postings under the screen name "I love Jesus." But prosecutors say the suspects, who have pleaded innocent, are paroled drug offenders with debts. More than $3,000 was withdrawn from the victims' bank account using their ATM card. Investigators used surveillance video from the cash machines. [AP