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Suspects in New York violinist's slaying ordered held without bail; prosecutor details crime

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two men accused of killing a New York concert violinist during a robbery in her home have been ordered held without bail after a prosecutor detailed how the victim was shot and stabbed after opening her door to help them.

Jonathan Conklin and Charles Sanford said nothing during a detention hearing Thursday in federal court in Buffalo, where they’ve pleaded not guilty to stealing property and taking it across state lines, and carjacking.

Police say the men killed 61-year-old Mary Whitaker after she agreed to lend them her phone in the Chautauqua (shuh-TAW’-kwuh) County town of Westfield on Aug. 20. They’re accused of driving her car to Erie, Pennsylvania, where they were arrested.

A grand jury will consider state murder charges.

Whitaker performed with the Chautauqua Symphony and Westchester Philharmonic.