Posted at: 06/20/2012 12:32 PM
| Updated at: 06/20/2012 12:43 PM
By: Kumi Tucker
ALBANY – An Albany teenager is still waiting to learn his fate, as a jury continues to deliberate. Seventeen-year-old Jah-Lah Vanderhorst is accused of stabbing another teenager, Tyler Rhodes, to death last year.
The jury heard the read back of the testimony of Rhodes best friend and teammate on the Albany High School track team, who was there when the stabbing occurred. Jah-Lah Vanderhorst is accused of stabbing another teenager, Tyler Rhodes, in Albany last April.
Vanderhorst, then 16-year-old is accused of stabbing 17-year-old Tyler Rhodes to death in Albany’s Hoffman Park. NewsChannel 13 obtained video of the incident but will not show the actual stabbing due to its graphic nature. The video was played during the trial.
On Tuesday, the jury was interested in once again hearing the testimony of the defendant and medical evidence about the fatal stab wound through the heart of the victim. They also wanted to hear from a witness to the stabbing death who said, that the victim repeatedly asked if they could fight with just their hands, without any weapons.
In another read-back Tuesday, the jury heard the defendant’s testimony that he was scared and he claims self defense. They also heard medical testimony about the fatal knife wound to the heart.
The jury wanted to hear testimony from a woman who took her kids to the park that day and saw all the commotion. She said she and others told the defendant, “put that knife away, don’t throw your life away.”
The witness said Rhodes kept saying, “let’s do this with hands, just hands. Put the knife away.” She said he even handed back a knife that someone gave him.
The jury also asked for the definitions of manslaughter one and manslaughter two and for the instruction for self defense.
Rhode’s friend said Rhodes wanted to go to the park on the day of the incident but wouldn’t say why. That’s where they met Vanderhorst who took out a knife. Everyone around told him to put away that knife.
Vanderhorst is facing the charge of second degree murder but the jury can also consider manslaughter one and manslaughter two. The jury has been deliberating since Monday and because of prior commitments the judge had, Wednesday is the first full day of deliberations.