Jury still out in Schenectady murder trial
SCHENECTADY Tanisha Stanley sat in on almost every minute of the nearly six weeks of testimony against the man accused of killing her son, Eddie.
“It’s heartbreaking reliving it all over again. It’s terrible,” Stanley said Tuesday shortly after deliberations began in the case. “But I did it. I did it for my son. I’m his voice now. I’m going to be here to make sure his killer gets put away for the rest of his life.”
The man accused of killing Eddie Stanley has denied the act. Prosecutors contend it was James Wells who fired four shots from a .44 Magnum revolver early on the morning of June 12, 2011, killing the 15-year-old high school basketball player.
Now it’s just a wait to see who the jury agrees with.
The Schenectady County Court jury this morning will resume sifting through weeks of testimony in the murder case against Wells.
Closing arguments in the case took place Monday and the jury was read the law Tuesday by state Supreme Court Justice Michael V. Coccoma, who has presided over the trial.
After the reading of the law, the jury got only about 90 minutes of actual deliberation time Tuesday afternoon before breaking for the day.
Wells, 33, of Brooklyn, faces one count of second-degree murder for allegedly killing the unarmed Stanley after a party at 730 Bridge St. Wells also faces other counts, including weapons and endangerment charges.
Wells took the stand in his own defense, denying he killed Stanley. He admitted to drawing a gun, a .357, in the stairwell, but said he never fired it. He only drew it after the lights went out and someone else fired, he said. It was a .44 Magnum that prosecutors say was the murder weapon.
Outside the courtroom Tuesday, defense attorney Cheryl Coleman described her client as nervous.
If convicted of the murder count, Wells faces up to 25 years to life in state prison. The weapons charges alone could get him up to 15 years in state prison.
“There’s a big difference between doing 15 years and spending the rest of your life in prison,” Coleman said.
“He knew he had a gun,” Coleman added. “He knew he did some things wrong. He was always fully prepared to spend the time to account for the things he did wrong. He’s not prepared to spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Once the judge finished reading the jury the law he dismissed the three remaining alternate jurors. Through the entire trial, only one juror was dismissed. That juror was let go about two weeks ago for personal reasons.
Tanisha Stanley credited the support she’s received from family and friends with getting her through everything that’s happened.
She said her son, too, has also helped her through the ordeal. “I have him every day in my heart,” the mother said.
As for what she’s hoping for and expecting, Tanisha Stanley was clear.
“I’m waiting for a guilty verdict, basically, and for him to get everything he deserves,” she said. “That’s what I want.”