Taking a look at what led up to the Schoharie limo trial

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The Schoharie limo trial has been four-and-a-half years in the making. The case to get here has had many twists and turns.

This began October 6, 2018. That’s when a stretch limo carrying 17 friends crashed in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel country store in Schoharie. The driver, all 17 passengers on board and two bystanders were killed.

Four days after the crash, the operator of the limo company – Nauman Hussain – was charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide.

On April 15, 2019, a Schoharie County grand jury handed up an indictment of Hussain, charging him with 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide and 20 counts of manslaughter.

In September 2021, Hussain pleaded guilty. That was part of a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail. He was sentenced to five years’ probation instead, with 1,000 hours of community service.

About a year later – in August 2022 – a judge rejected that plea deal. State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch was not presiding over the case when that deal was made. He said the agreement was “fundamentally flawed.” That threw out the guilty plea, which cannot be brought up here in this trial, as that would lead to a mistrial. An appeals court upheld that decision, just days before jury selection began.

This trial was expected to last four to six weeks, but it’s only been about a week.

It remains to be seen what the jury ultimately decides. Deliberations are set to resume at 9:30 Wednesday morning.