Posted at: 07/13/2012 9:15 AM
| Updated at: 07/13/2012 6:17 PM
By: WNYT Staff
TROY - Troy police found Harlan Copeland dead in his Seventh Avenue apartment just after 4:30 a.m. Friday. Less than eight hours later, his teenaged daughter was charged in the murder.
Neighbors in North Troy told NewsChannel 13 Trinity and Harlan had a very typical father/daughter relationship, ups and downs.
They confirm what police say: That Trinity told them she wasn't in the room when her father was shot and that she's the one who called 911.
When Trinity Copeland shuffled into court Friday in a jumpsuit and handcuffs, she said nothing. Her lawyer pleaded not guilty, on her behalf, but Troy detectives claim the 17-year-old told them a lot.
In a statement investigators said Trinity gave them, she and Harlan Copeland had an ongoing argument about a credit card she took from her father and fraudulently used.
It allegedly came to a head, early Friday morning, when Trinity admitted to charging $154 to the card. Detectives say Trinity told them her father first pointed his gun at her.
"He said after he killed me, that he was going to kill himself because he wasn't going to jail for me misbehaving,” said Trinity in her statement to police.
The police statement goes on to read that Harlan told Trinity he was going to kill them both or she would have to kill him. Trinity's alleged response:
“I was like why do I have to kill you, why do I have to kill you. He said either way he was going to die and he was giving me a way out."
“I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry. Then I did it. I shot him."
“That interview upturned very sad information about her role in the death of her father,” said Captain John Cooney of the Troy Police Department.
Trinity cried during her arraignment on second degree murder charges and was then sent to the Rensselaer County Jail, without bail.
Back at the apartment, the father and daughter shared, neighbors could not believe that the high schooler they know is now an accused murderer.
“I would never thought it would happen the way it did,” said Sharon Wilson.
The rifle police say was used in the murder was legally registered to Harlan Copeland.