New York

After 9 years, Times Square hotel murder case headed to jury

A nearly decade-old murder case over a prostitute's death in a shabby Times Square hotel will soon go to a jury after being drawn out by debate over the scientific validity of bite-mark evidence.

The defendant, Clarence Dean, wasn't in court as summations began Tuesday, by his choice.

The convicted sex offender admitted choking Kristine Yitref but denied killing her. He said he was defending himself after she and her pimp attacked him in in August 2007.

Arrested days later, he's spent one of the longest pretrial spells in jail of any New York City suspect.

The wait partly reflected a dispute over whether jurors could hear a comparison between Dean's teeth and a bite mark on Yitref's body.