Jury deliberations underway in bus brawl trial

April 25, 2017 06:25 PM

The fate of the former UAlbany students charged in a CDTA bus brawl now rests in the hands of a jury. Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday afternoon and the deliberations began.

No one disputes that the now infamous CDTA bus ride was racially-charged. However, the issue is whether the two young women at the center aisle of controversy should have been criminally charged.

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In his summation to the jury, Asha Burwell’s attorney, Frederick Brewington, argued:

"These charges should never have seen the light of day."

"UAlbany Police were supposed to protect truth and justice. They refused to accept other (racial) terms as being viable race bait terms."

"What's unforgivable is not trying to understand what you're trying to investigate."

Co-defendant Ariel Agudio’s attorney, Mark Mishler, was next. He argued:

"There is enough reasonable doubt in this case to more than fill a 60 foot long double CDTA bus."

"(The prosecution) has not only utterly and profoundly failed to prove their case, they have undermined their own case."

"The UAlbany Police investigation was a sham and a show. They weren't interested in finding the truth, they wanted to protect the image of the university."

Prosecutor David Rossi’s final words to the jury were part of an audio-visual presentation interweaving frame-by-frame bus video and police interrogation video to craft his own narrative in which he stated:

"We are here because (Agudio and Burwell) intentionally engaged in a campaign of deceit."

"The story they're telling does not add up. There is objective, undeniable evidence that their narrative is false. The narrative they gave is flipped on its head."

Jury deliberations continue Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

NewsChannel 13 continues to cover the case. Trust NewsChannel 13 to have the verdict for you on as soon as it's reached and on our future newscasts.


WNYT Staff

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