Troy murder trial heads to jury

June 29, 2017 06:30 PM

The jury is now deliberating the case of Joseph Vandenburgh. He's accused of murdering Bill Chamberlain, Troy's former operations director.

Deliberations on Thursday lasted for about two hours, but no verdict was reached. The judge asked jurors to return on Friday morning to resume deliberations.

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Chamberlain's wife found him dying near their home in Wynantskill in 2015. Police say he was stabbed while out for a walk with his dog.

Earlier in the day, the nine women and three men heard from the district attorney and defense attorney, giving them plenty to think about.

Vandenburgh sat stoically and quietly throughout the 90-minute long summation. His attorney, Danielle Neroni-Reilly, argued to the jury the only thing the people proved was that her client was at the murder scene and her version of the story is that Vandenburgh was walking alone, stumbled onto Chamberlain’s bloody body on December 17, 2015 and then rendered help.

"There’s no motive. They don’t know each other. There’s no intent. There’s no nothing," Neroni-Reilly told the jury.

District Attorney Joel Abelove pieced together a map of the route Vandenburgh traveled that night, pointing out there were droplets of blood all along the way. Then, he asked rhetorically, who would render help and then take off?

"Why did the defendant do it? I don’t know. I don’t have to know. I don’t have to prove that to you. The judge will tell you that. I don’t have to prove his motive. I can’t get inside his head. I’m not required to," he countered to the jury.

Abelove told jurors all he’s required to prove is that Vandenburgh stabbed Chamberlain to death and with bloody sneakers, a bloody sweatshirt and DNA evidence, he feels as if he’s done just that.

Before leaving for the day, the jurors requested a definition of "weapons possession." Vandenburgh is charged with two crimes – murder and illegal weapons possession. That definition will be the first thing they tackle when they return for deliberations on Friday.


WNYT Staff

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