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      Syracuse pastor defends the reputation of a murder victim

      A local pastor is defending the reputation of murder victim who was allegedly trying to buy drugs when he was robbed and stabbed.

      When Marvin Bryant became the victim of the deadly robbery, most everyone who knew him were saddened and angry. They portrayed the 65 year old as a man who devoted his life to his family and church. On Thursday, Police Chief Frank Fowler came out with some surprising news. Fowler told reporters that Bryant was trying to buy drugs in a crime ridden section of the city not far from his home. The Chief says Bryant was actually robbed twice in the course of ten minutes before he was stabbed.

      At that news conference, Mayor Stephanie Miner says the circumstances of his death should make no difference. "Just because it appears he wanted to purchase drugs...does not in any way, shape or form justify what happened to him." Miner said.

      For years Marvin Bryant attended the Bethany Baptist Church in Syracuse where he served as an usher. Reverend Phil Turner says he was surprised and saddened to hear that bryant may have had a drug problem. "We should remember Marvin Bryant as a man of integrity. We should remember him as a good person, no different from any other person. Bad things happen to good people and that's what we have to remember."

      Reverend Turner added, "The end result is that Marvin has revealed to us that there is still an enormous of sickness in our society. There is something in our society that still is so degrading that one would lose and appreciation for the value of life and be willing to take any other individual's life for something as small as just a little bit of money. It reminds us that we still have the responsibility to overcome evil with good."

      Reverand Turner says funeral services for Marvin Bryant will be held on Monday at Bethany Baptist Church.