Opening statements begin in trial of man charged with two murders

December 04, 2017 06:52 PM

Opening statements were given Monday in the trial of Edward Mero. The former Water Department employee is accused of killing two women – Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine.

There was also a large contingent of family and friends of the victims in the packed courtroom. When Mero was walked in, one woman started sobbing loudly.

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Cunningham's body was found in a house on Arcadia Avenue in Albany after a fire in 2013. She and Mero were roommates.

Countermine went missing in December 2014. It wasn't until the following May that a jogger found her body in Coeymans in a pipeline access area for the Albany Water Department. Mero was a Water Department employee.

Prosecutors said Monday that Countermine went to meet with Mero to make some money while she was in the throes of a heroin addiction and then disappeared. Prosecutors argued whoever put Countermine's body in that water pipeline area had to know about it and have access to it.

"Who works for the city of Albany's Water Department? This defendant," argued Steven Sharp, the Albany County assistant district attorney. "Who was working in the exact area where Shelby's body was found, just a couple months before December 3, 2014? This defendant. Who was the last person to see and speak to Shelby? This defendant."

"I don't know who killed Shelby Countermine," countered Cheryl Coleman, Mero's attorney. "I don't know who, I don't know how, I don't know when, I don't know why, I don't know where. I don't know why, when, where, 'cause I wasn't there and neither were they."

Witnesses included a Water Department employee, an Albany firefighter, a police officer and Cunningham's friend.

An investigator on Tuesday is expected to play a videotaped interview police had with Mero right after the fire in 2013, in which they discovered Cunningham's body.


WNYT Staff

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