NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A jury is deciding the fate of the first of six defendants charged with killing three college-bound friends in New Jersey's largest city.

The panel began deliberations Thursday afternoon in Newark in the case of Rodolfo Godinez (goh-DEEN'-ez), who faces murder, robbery and weapons charges.

Three victims were shot execution-style. A fourth survived and testified against Godinez. All four were attending or about to attend Delaware State University.

Prosecutors tried to portray Godinez as a gang member who orchestrated the killings. His attorney says Godinez was at the scene but didn't participate in the attacks.