Attorney plans appeal of West verdict

May 08, 2017 06:30 PM

Alex West's attorney, Cheryl Coleman, will be appealing the conviction of her client on eight of 12 counts, including manslaughter, in connection with a fatal boating accident on Lake George that killed an 8-year-old girl.

Coleman had a tough case in front of her -- 12 counts against Alex West. The district attorney brought dozens of witnesses. Including the 8-year-old's crying mother, father and grandparents. She took it personally.

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"I wish they’d left earlier, I wish they’d left later. I wish that everybody’s life didn’t intersect the way they did," explained Coleman.

She was surprised by the way the verdict split, guilty on all charges but four: vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault first degree and second degree and boating while ability impaired by drugs. She says she will be appealing this case.

"They don’t have the drug involvement, immediately makes for a huge issue on appeal, in addition to, we think, a lot of other issues," explained Coleman.

Jurors said they weren't hung up on the highest count -- manslaughter, but on lower counts. Chief among them, criminally negligent homicide.

"Did he act reckless because he was drinking? Did he act reckless because he had supposed allegedly drugs in his system? Did he not act reckless? What constitutes reckless, you know? So those were the charges we were hung up on," explained Steve DeJesus, one of the jurors.

Many of the charges depended on whether or not West was impaired at the time of the crash. Remember, blood-testing evidence that showed West had drugs in his system 14 hours after the crash, was not used in court because of issues with the warrant.

Coleman says she hopes to have a form into an appellate court by the end of the week. She hopes to have Alex West out on bail very soon.

NewsChannel 13 also tried to speak with West’s father, but he denied our request. 


WNYT Staff

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