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Police Testimony in Nigel Smith Murder Trial

By Alex Howard.
Two police investigators took the stand in the murder trial of Nigel Smith. He's charged in the robbery and murder of Bretnie Owens in Binghamton in 2013.

Binghamton Police Department were called to the stand Thursday, the first was police Investigator Matthew Zandy. During his testimony Assistant District Attorney Kevin Dooley showed a police video of the crime scene, which included the body of Bretnie Owens, and a frying pan, which was found lying next to his body.

Zandy testified about the crime scene and condition of Owens' body. During cross examination the defense questioned Zandy about why the frying pan was in the living room, given that the cause of death was by chest compression and asphyxiation.

During the testimony of a second police investigator the prosecution objected to the defense introducing the claims of a homeless man named Frederick Patterson. The defense claims Patterson in a phone call to one of Owens' drug clients claimed that Owens was dead by strangulation, a claim he wouldn't have known without knowledge of the crime scene.

Upon the prosecution's objection, Judge Joseph Cawley dismissed the jury before ruling that none of what Patterson said could be used as evidence. Prosecution witnesses will continue their testimony when the case resumes tomorrow.

Smith's co-defendant in the case, Calvin Bell, was found not guilty of the robbery and murder of Owens in June.