Updated 03/07/2012 08:09 PM
Matthew Slocum takes the stand
Both sides have rested their cases in the Matthew Slocum murder trial, but that didn’t happen until the defense’s key witness, the defendant himself, took the stand. Our Matt Hunter has been covering the trial and has the latest from Fort Edward.
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FORT EDWARD, N.Y. -- In the biggest bombshell yet of the now week and a half old Matthew Slocum murder trial, the defendant himself took the stand.
Slocum, the defense’s fifth and final witness, testified for little more than a half hour. In what was at times an emotional testimony, he broke down while telling jurors that on the morning of July 13th, he was awakened by two large gun blasts. When he walked into the living room, he claims he saw his girlfriend Loretta Colegrove standing over his step-brother, Joshua O’Brien with a shotgun.
That’s when he said he saw Loretta shoot O’Brien before then turning the gun on him and demanding he get back in his room.
After grabbing his infant son Raymond and bringing a pile of clothes to a Ford Edge waiting in the driveway, Slocum admitted to jurors that he set fire to his family’s home.
When asked why, he said “Because I didn’t want anybody else to have to see my mother shot in the face like I just did.”
Since even before the trial began, Slocum’s attorney, public defender Michael Mercure, tried to argue that his client’s statements to police following his arrest were obtained illegally.
While Slocum did acknowledge that he signed and initialed his Miranda Warning and completely understand what it meant, he did say, quote: “I never agreed to nothing” when asked about giving the interview.
One of the most significant portions of his testimony came when he was asked to read aloud a letter he wrote to Colegrove months after his arrest.
In that letter Slocum wrote: “I wish I could take back what I did but it’s too late for that now. Please try to someday find it in yourself to forgive me and tell Raymond I’m sorry.”
At the end of his testimony, Slocum admitted that he never told police that Colegrove was responsible for the murders, even acknowledging he repeatedly told investigators she had nothing to do with it.
With witness testimony now complete, opening statements are set to begin first thing Thursday morning.