Jury Hears Testimony In Patterson Murder Trial
Utica, NY (WIBX) - Testimony got underway this morning in Oneida County Court in the trial of Christian Patterson. The 41-year-old Patterson is charged with aggravated murder in the death of Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman following a six-hour standoff last June.
In his opening statement, Defense Attorney Frank Nebush said Patterson was reckless but did not intend to kill Wyman. Also, Nebush said, "If police had followed proper procedures, we would not be here today." He goes on to say, "You'll hear that the Sheriff's department is accredited. Accredidation means that you have policies and procedures for everything. When you look at them, you probably couldn't go to the bathroom without signing a slip--they cover everything." The defense plans to show that despite being an accredited agency, proper procedure was not followed.
Nebush says his team will also show that the shot gun Patterson was holding accidentally went off, after he was shot by two rubber bullets. "And, you'll hear testimony that he did double over, he did have his finger on the trigger, but he just wasn't stuck in a jacket, but that he was fully, that jacket was fully on him, and he went over and then he came back and the gun went off."
Two witnesses took the stand this morning--Wyman's brother Brian and Patterson's girlfriend at the time, Shannon Secor. The 35-year-old Secor tearfully described her 19-year relationship with Patterson, that she says was abusive at times, as well as, her infidelity and the events leading up to the stand-off with police. When prosecutors called Secor to the stand she was visibly nervous and shaking and said, "Oh Lord" as she made her way through the packed court room.
During questioning she said Patterson did not have a good relationship with their only child, 17-year-old Christian Patterson, Jr. She said the two always argued and Patterson would call him names like, "stupid" and "retard." She said he did not help take care of him and was not part of any school activities. During cross examination Secor admitted that her relationship with her son was not any better, and that she also yelled at him and called him names but said, "I was the better of the parent." She says a lot of the arguments was about him helping out more.
she was only 15 years old when she started seeing Patterson who was 21-years-old at the time. They moved in together when she was 16 and lived on James Street in Utica. She said, "We were happy at first but we fought a lot." Secor says through their 19-year relationship they split up twice. During spring 2011 Secor says she started to withdraw from Patterson and wanted a change. She admitted that she started seeing someone else in December 2010. She says Patterson suspected that she was cheating but that she kept lying to him about the other man she says she was seeing about twice a week. She said, "I was not happy." The prosecutor then asked, "Why didn't you leave?" She said, "I can't answer that...I was afraid...the unknown."
The morning of June 6, 2011 started as any other day in the Patterson, Secor household. Patterson, woke Secor up around 6:00 or 6:15 a.m. before he left for his job at Utica College. Secor says a few month before the tragic incident that claimed the life of Sheriff Deputy Kurt Wyman, Patterson was attempting to make a change for the better. He would send her text messages expressing his love for her and was buying her flowers, and June 6th was another day of Patterson making an attempt to change and treat her better. She told the court that she did not respond to his text messages that day. When asked why she said, "He wasn't doing that before."
Secor says she got home from her job at AIS at Griffiss, where she works as an accountant, around 7:30 p.m. "Chris and Chris, Jr. were home," she said. They had a brief conversation--Patterson told her he cleaned her car and pointed to his hair to show that he had dyed it black. He also pointed to the flowers he got for her that were sitting on a table. He also had dinner waiting for her. When asked how she felt about the kind gestures, she said she didn't really care because she had fallen out of love with him. Secor then said she did not eat the dinner that Patterson prepared for her and was taking off her shoes to get ready for bed.
That's when Patterson got upset with her. According to Secor, Patterson said, "Why are your shoes so tall? Who are you being tall for?" She told the court that she told him, "I just got these shoes." She said she was making her way to the bedroom to get into her pajamas but Patterson followed her and repeatedly said to her, "If you have something to say, just say it!" She said she kept ignoring him, but he kept repeating the comment. She told the court that she suspected that Patterson was suspicious about her infidelity. She went on to say that Patterson grew more agitated with her because she kept ignoring him.
Secor then made her way to the bathroom and Patterson followed her there and blocked her from leaving the bathroom. He also shoved her and said, "You need to say whatever you need to say." She said after a few minutes of this, she was able to free her way out of the bathroom, grab her purse and head to her truck where she planned on leaving to allow him time to cool off. She said Patterson was still following her and hopped into the passenger side seat of her truck. She said Patterson would not allow her to leave. She said she then went back into the bedroom, then to the bathroom, still attempting to get away from Patterson.
She told the court that while in the bathroom for a second time, Patterson blocked the door again and shoved her saying, "Say what you got to say. Just say it!" She said she hit him in the side of his face because he kept shoving her into the sink. At this time, she said she was able to get out of the bathroom. She made her way back to their bedroom and Patterson, who was still following her, closed the door behind him. She said he was fumbling for something but she just ignored him. Secor also revealed that there were 6 guns kept in a gun cabinet in the bedroom. She said the key to the gun cabinet was typically kept behind her vanity.
Secor, still wiping tears from her eyes as she recounted the fight with Patterson, said she kept trying to leave the bedroom but was blocked from doing so. She said Patterson said, "If you leave you're never coming back!" He also accused her of trying to call the police for her reason for trying to leave. She told him she wouldn't. Secor said the arguing and yelling continued. She then said that Patterson said something that scared her. According to Secor, Patterson said, "F%#k this! I'm done!"
Then the door to the bedroom came open and Secor saw her son standing behind it. She said she yelled at him to call the police. She said she tried running out of the bedroom, but Patterson kept holding her back. She said, he then put his hands through the glass window of the gun cabinet, while still holding onto her, preventing her from leaving. She said that's when he said, "You're done b#@ch! You're done!" She said he kept repeating this threat. She told the court that she jumped on his neck, at which point he picked her up by her ears, ripping her earring out of her ear, and threw her on the floor.
She said Patterson then went back to the gun cabinet. At this time, during Secor's testimony, she became visibly upset and started crying again. She tearfully said that she thought Patterson was going to kill her with a gun. She said she crawled to the door while Patterson was still at the gun cabinet. She said she heared glass breaking. She said Patterson returned to her and hit her, grabbed her by the ankle and was pulling her back into the bedroom toward the gun cabinet. Secor said at this point she did not know where her son was. She said their struggle ensued and by this time she was holding onto a recliner chair and kicking as hard as she could to try to get Patterson to let go of her ankles. She said he kept saying, "You're done! You're done!"
She said, when Patterson fell back, landing in the bedroom, she ran out of the house toward the driveway. Secor says she saw her son in the driveway and yelled at him to run. She said they both ran across the street to their neighbors. She said she looked back and saw Patterson coming out of the house. She said she did not see a weapon in his hands. She said her neighbor came out of the house and she told him and his wife to get their kids and get them in the house. She told the prosecutor that she was afraid for her safety and for the safety of her neighbors. She said, they all went into the house. The neighbors were, Matt and Christine. She said Matt got his hand gun and Christine asked her if she should call the police. Secor told her, "Yes." She said it was the first time she had to call the police on Patterson.
After a call to 9-11 was made, the group remained in the house. Secor said she kept looking out to see if Patterson was coming over and saw a Sheriff's vehicle pull up. She said she gave police information about Patterson and told them the lay-out of the house. She said she also told them about the weapons and ammunition in the home. Nebush said the first Emergency Response Team arrived around 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. Secor says she was still up in the early morning hours of June 7th when she heard about nine gun shots. "It was quick," she said.
When asked to identify the defendant in the court room, Secor became very emotional as she pointed toward Patterson and for the first time during her testimony, looked at him. At this time, Patterson also became emotional and cried as he looked back at Secor. Officials say the trial is expected to last until February 9th. During a break, Judge Barry M. Donalty excused jury #10 to attend to a family medical issue and an alternate jury will be used moving forward. Testimony continues tomorrow morning.