Pictures of damaged boat highlight Day 3 of boat death trial

April 21, 2017 06:29 PM

Friday was day three of testimony in the Alex West trial. He’s accused of manslaughter in the boating death of Charlotte McCue, 8, last July.

After hearing from a woman on the boat with West on Thursday, we heard from first responders on Friday.

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They included several officers from the Warren County Sheriff's Department, an off-duty cop, and a firefighter. All of them explaining what they saw after the boat had crashed and 8-year-old Charlotte McCue was dead.

The jury was shown pictures of the damaged 1928 Garwood in the boathouse. It's second row of seating was smashed. Charlotte's body was under a blanket.

The jury heard from Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Sikirica, who performed Charlotte's autopsy, saying as he showed the jury medical diagrams: "These were serious deep, shearing type injuries."

Sikirica says they were consistent with a boat propeller.

Lake George firefighter and EMT Doni Lynn Smith said she ran in to perform CPR but after pulling back the blanket realized Charlotte was already dead. She stopped other crew from going inside, saying, "Nobody needed to see that. It was very graphic."

In cross-examination, West’s attorneys asked if firefighters rocked the boat and moved Charlotte's body. They've been trying to determine whether Charlotte's body was moved before pictures were taken and whose fault this accident was.

Cheektowaga PD detective Tim Turnbull was on vacation at Tea Island Resort when he saw a boat without lights come in. He told the court: "I heard whispering and some people saying, "Just park it here, park it here," and a blonde woman saying, "Don't you dare text anybody about what happened here...Listen, nobody says anything to anybody about what happened."

Turnbull said the smaller male he saw, likely West, didn't say anything. West's attorneys questioned what he actually remembered and what Turnbull could actually see in the "pitch black" darkness.


WNYT Staff

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