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Youth Testifies Teen Admitted Killing Monks ‘Mercenary Style’

February 5, 1992 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) _ A teen-ager charged with killing nine people at a Buddhist temple claimed to be an assassin for military intelligence and admitted shooting monks ″mercenary style,″ a fellow ROTC cadet testified.

″He said the monks were invading on some type of national security so OSI (the Office of Special Investigations) had to eliminate them,″ Benjamin Leininger testified Tuesday during the fourth day of hearings.

The hearings are to determine if Jonathan Doody, 17, should be tried as an adult in the Aug. 10 massacre at the Wat Promkunaram Temple in which six monks, two young male followers and an elderly nun were shot to death. A similar hearing is scheduled later for co-defendant Alessandro ″Alex″ Garcia, 16.

Doody, whose younger brother frequented the temple, was a member of the ROTC at Agua Fria High School in suburban Avondale. His adoptive father was stationed at nearby Luke Air Force Base until August.

Leininger, 16, said he approached Doody at the ROTC compound two days before Doody’s arrest last fall, saying Doody appeared troubled.

″He started off saying he was involved in OSI and OSI had used Alex and himself for snipers to do various things ... assassinations and stuff,″ Leininger said. ″He said if you ever shot anybody mercenary style, you’ll always see and hear the blood rushing from their heads.″

Leininger testified that after saying the monks were an OSI target, Doody told that him he, Garcia and a couple of others carried out the killings.

Transcripts of Doody’s interrogation indicate he told authorities the temple murders started as a war game to beat the temple’s security system.