Saratoga Springs murder defendant testifies he thought victim was going to kill him

April 22, 2019 07:43 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Albert Mercer lived at 48 Zephyr Lane back on July 1 when he claims Patrick Collins slapped him and punched him inside Mercer's trailer.

A few minutes after that early afternoon encounter, Mercer went outside his trailer and stabbed Collins. Mercer doesn't dispute that,

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Assistant District Attorney Al Poremba asking Mercer, "On July 1, you stabbed Patrick Collins, correct?"

Mercer, responded, "Yes."

Poremba pointed out that Mercer has been researching and learning about "justification defense" while in jail. Poremba asking, "You know what justification requires, correct?"

Mercer: "I believe so, yes."

For the killing to be justified, the jury would have to believe that Mercer truly thought Collins, who was unarmed, was going to kill him.

On direct testimony elicited by Defense Attorney Andrew Deluca, the 62-year-old Mercer testified, "Patrick told me he was going to kill me if I came outside."

However, Mercer did go outside, saying he retrieved a knife with a 6-inch blade and stood on the porch of his home.

"I grabbed the knife and I had to find him. I couldn't let him come back in on me."

"He started charging me. I'm saying stop. I'm scared to death. He's coming at me and he's not stopping," he said.

Mercer testified that he never left his porch which could be an important distinction because courts have held that defendants are justified using deadly force when attacked at their own homes.

"He comes right up to the porch, gives me a left to the head. I stabbed him with the right."

Mercer, who is a former truck driver and one-time U.S. Marine admitted to telling his relatives that he was growing his hair out and wearing glasses so the jury might think he was older, but saying on cross examination, "I might've been joking."

The defense rested its case after Mercer's testimony.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.


Mark Mulholland

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