Jury deliberations underway for trial of man charged with two murders

December 14, 2017 06:47 PM

A jury is now deliberating the fate of a former Water Department employee.

Edward Mero, 30, is accused of killing 23-year-old Megan Cunningham and 23-year-old Shelby Countermine.

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The jury was given the case after both sides presented their closing arguments.

Defense Attorney Cheryl Coleman reminded the jury that the burden of proof in this case is on the prosecution and it has to be beyond a reasonable doubt.

She says there's plenty of doubt in a case full of circumstantial evidence that alleges Edward Mero killed two women.

In January of 2013, Cunningham's body was found inside a burned out home on Arcadia Avenue in Albany. She was Mero's roommate.

The other victim, 23-year-old Shelby Countermine, went missing in December 2014. Her body was found months later by a jogger in a shallow grave in Coeymans.

According to records, Mero told police he had a sexual relationship with Countermine and last saw her on December 3 – the day before she was reported missing.

Coleman says there's no physical evidence that connects Mero to the crimes. She said even the prosecution's own expert concluded that Cunningham's death appeared to be an accident. She also tried to discredit the account of an inmate who said Mero told him, "He did the second one, but not the first."

Prosecutors countered her summation in a two and a half hour recount of testimony and the evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Dave Rossi says the jury only needs to answer one question. That's if Edward Mero killed the two women. He says all the evidence and testimony makes him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

"There's no other way to explain all those circumstances," argued Rossi.

"They want you to do what their own experts won't do. They want you to say it. They want you to say it's a murder," countered Coleman.

Mero could face 50 years in prison if he's convicted of the murder charges.

The jury will continue deliberations on Friday morning.


WNYT Staff

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