Enos Given Same Sentence As Blackshear
Utica, NY (WIBX) - Vincent Enos received the same sentence in Oneida County Court Friday as his co-defendant, Eric Blackshear, did the day before - 50 years to life - for murder, burglary and robbery at home on Waverly Place last year.
And, just as Blackshear did on Thursday, Enos expressed his belief that he did not have a fair trial, even going as far as tell Judge Barry Donalty "...you and a juror were biased through the whole trial."
The juror Enos referred to was a woman worked in the same building as Karen Brown, the victim's mother, and whose cousin previously dated victim Shaun Vaughn, according to courtroom statements.
However, Donalty said he was already aware of those facts and had already ruled during the trial that the woman would be allowed to continue to serve on the jury.
During the jury selection and screening process, Donalty said he told the potential jurors what the case was about and who those involved were. The juror indicated she did not know anybody or anything about the case, when asked by Donalty during the screening process, he said.
The links between the juror and victim's family became known during the trial, Donalty said, and she was interviewed by he and the attorneys for the defense and prosecution.
"She indicated during the course of that conversation...that she worked in the same building as Mrs. Brown, but didn't really know her, other than to say 'Hi' to her," Donalty said in court.
Donalty said he specifically asked if that would influence her ability to fairly judge the trail. She said it wouldn't, Donalty said.
This same juror also had a prior case in New Hartford town court in which she was prosecuted by First Assitant District Attorney Michael Coluzza, who prosecuted Enos and Blackshear. The juror indicated that would not unfairy influence her against the prosecution either, Donalty said, adding that it was Coluzza who moved to dismiss the juror during the trail.
That motion from the prosecution was denied then, and the defense's motion, regarding the same juror, was also denied Friday.
Brown became emotional prior to the sentencing of each man, as she spoke about the personality of her son, his future and the nature of his death.
"I know there are no easy days for you, Ms. Brown, and I'm sure is particulary difficult given Sunday coming up. I hope that the fact that you came in here [to speak] has been helpful to you," Donalty said.
Coluzza also read a letter from vaughn's stepfather, prior to both sentences.
"Today it's our home, the next time it could be yours, and the time after that it could be someone else's," part of the letter read.
And, as Blackshear did, Enos addressed Vaughn's family, saying he felt sorry 'the victim and the victim's family', but did 'nothing'. "I'm innoncent", he said.
Donalty told Enos his alibi was 'laughable and ludicris', and said there was no reason to hurt Vaughn because they had 'control' of the situation and 'already had the money'.
The judge also said the evidence in the case indicated that Blackshear was the gunman, but told Enos he was just as responsible.
"And, as I pointed out to Mr. Blackshear yesterday, I couldn't help but notice that each time the deputies took you from the holding area into the courtroom, everytime, you guys were laughing. Occassionally even fist bumping," Donalty said, "as if this was just a minor inconvenience for you."