Cellmate Testimony in Calvin Bell Murder Trial
Did Calvin Bell discuss the death of Bretnie Owens with a fellow inmate? A witness who took the stand Thursday says yes. Bell is charged with murdering Owens while robbing his Binghamton apartment in June of 2013. He faces additional burglary charges for the incident.
Rasheed Crawford, who was incarcerated with Calvin Bell, says that during a conversation, Bell told him that refused to take the plea deal because they couldn't prove that he killed Owens.
Crawford says that Bell went on to tell him there was another man involved in the crime named Black, who grabbed Owens and hit him with a skillet. Prosecutors say this is consistent with their argument as Owens was found on the floor of his apartment with a skillet laying next to him and Bell's co-defendant Nigel Smith was known to his friends as Blacka.
The comments Bell allegedly made to Crawford are in stark contrast to the statements bell made on video to investigators that he had nothing to do with the death of Bretnie Owens.
Defense attorney Michael Korchak argues that Bell wasn't even in Owens' apartment at the time of his death, pointing out that none of Bell's DNA was found at the crime scene. Even after being presented with phone records that locate his and co-defendant Nigel Smith's cell phones in the same areas at the same time, Bell remains calm and cooperative, telling investigators "Somebody in trouble and it ain't me... somebody died but I had nothing to do with it."
Jurors will return to the courtroom Friday morning when testimony enters day number 8.