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Page last updated at 01:30 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 02:30 UK

Texas 'fight club' trial begins

By Andy Gallacher
BBC News, Miami

Mobile video image of staged fight (Handout: City of Corpus Christi)
The videos were called "one of the saddest things" jurors would ever see

A former worker at a Texas state school for mentally disabled people has gone on trial accused of organising fights between the residents.

Jesse Salazar is charged with injury to a disabled person in what the Texas police have called a "fight club".

The case came to light when officers found a mobile phone in March with almost 20 videos showing the residents punching and kicking each other.

Mr Salazar, 25, could face 10 years in jail if convicted.

As the trial began, the jury was warned that the video evidence would be "one of the saddest things they will ever see".

The footage allegedly shows staff from the Corpus Christi state school forcing the residents into fights, apparently for their entertainment.

Mr Salazar's defence team says he was trying to prevent the fights from going ahead.

Six former employees have already been charged for their part in orchestrating the fights.



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