Both sides rest in murder trial of a night-time bicyclist

Updated: 07/22/2014 9:44 AM
Created: 07/21/2014 1:23 PM WNYT.com
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY – Either a whole lot of people, many of them police officers, are lying or Pablo Cruz is not telling the truth.

It really is about that simple.

Somebody struck bicycle rider Paul Merges, Jr. at 1 a.m. in November 2012 near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Manning Boulevard in Albany.

Police charged that the truck driver was an intoxicated Cruz, who kept going with his victim lodged in an exterior ladder attached to the truck.

The victim died.

The high-speed chase with lights flashing and sirens wailing went on for 20 minutes from Albany to Rotterdam before the truck gave out and Cruz was taken into custody.

On the witness stand Monday Cruz bluntly stated he wanted the jury to hear his innocence, that he wasn't there.

When it was her turn, prosecutor Mary Tanner-Richter posed only a couple of basic questions, hearing once again Cruz claim that he wasn't in the truck and did not know what she was talking about, even though both had just gone through almost a week of testimony building the case that Cruz was the drunken driver responsible.

After hearing Cruz once again claim he wasn't in the truck, Tanner-Richter gave up, apparently confident the jury would believe her multiple police witnesses, not the solo claim of an admitted parolee whose strategy was deny, deny, deny.


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