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Testimony Begins in Nigel Smith Murder Trial

By Alex Howard.
Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of Nigel Smith. He's charged in the murder and robbery of Bretnie Owens in Binghamton in June of 2013.

Assistant Broome County District Attorney Kevin Dooley made his opening statement to the jury, claiming that 35 witnesses and 250 exhibits of evidence prove that Nigel Smith was recruited by Calvin Bell to visit the Victim Bretnie "Sha" Owens at his Stone Street apartment the night of the murder to quote "Teach him a lesson".

The Defense cited the lack of witness credibility, saying one prosecution witness was addicted to heroin. The defense also said there is a lack of physical evidence, such as fingerprints or hair.

"The allegation is that the defendant was essentially aware the police were looking for him, was avoiding the police and spotted by the police on September 25th and engaged in a high speed chase," said Prosecutor Kevin Dooley

"They had an entire CSI team in there, not a single fingerprint, no DNA, no hair, no fibers, nothing linking either Calvin Bell or Nigel Smith to this apartment," said defense attorney David Butler.

The Jury also heard from four witnesses today, including a woman who says she stumbled upon the victim's body at the house while looking for her daughter. She said she discovered Owens' body lying on a floor in the home. The other witnesses included first responders, a paramedic and two police officers.

However, the trial had to be cut short two hours early due to a juror's medical issue. Smith's co-defendant in the case, Calvin Bell, was acquitted in June of the robbery and murder. The trial will resume Wednesday morning.