Man charged in Phoenix serial killings didn't attend hearing

PHOENIX (AP) - A former city bus driver charged in a string of serial killings in Phoenix has once again declined to attend a court hearing in his criminal case.

It was the fifth court hearing that Aaron Juan Saucedo has chosen not to attend.

The hearing Thursday centered on the qualifications of his attorneys.

They swore to a judge that they had the qualifications to defend Saucedo in a death penalty case.

Their statements were a necessary formality after prosecutors said last month that they intended to seek the death penalty against Saucedo.

Saucedo has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and drive-by shooting in attacks that killed nine people and wounded two others during a nearly one-year period that ended in July 2016.