TROY, N.Y. - A 17-year-old Troy girl charged with killing her father last
year has now been released from jail after the county dropped the indictment.
Trinity Copeland was released from the Rensselaer County Jail on Wednesday
evening, as the judge announced the murder indictment against the teen has been
Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally says the court found
prosecutors failed to properly instruct grand jury.
court dismissed the indictment saying we improperly instructed the grand jury
on law of self-defense. So she'll be recharged
after she surrenders herself to authorities next week," said McNally.
Copeland was charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of
her father, Harlan Copeland. In a police report obtained by NEWS CENTER,
Copeland admitted to killing
her father on July 13, 2012, as he sat on his couch inside their home on
Authorities say the shooting stemmed from an argument after Copeland used
her father's ATM card without his permission.
"He said that he was going to kill us both or I was going to have to
kill him," Trinity said in her statement. She went on to say, "He
told me that he was gonna kill me. He was holding the gun and pointing it at
me. My heart was pounding."
"He said that either way, he was going to die and he was giving me a
way out... He said do it. I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry.
Then I did it, I shot him."
Authorities say Harlan Copeland was found with one gunshot wound to the
head. A firearm, believed to be the weapon involved, was recovered at scene.
Copeland has spent about 10 months behind bars since she admitted to
Harlan's friend and former employer Mark Schleicher spoke with the NEWS
CENTER about the case.
"I don't believe prison is the right
answer for Trinity. I think help, that's all, just give her some help. Prison
is not the answer," said Schleicher. "Her father wouldn't want this, I know it
in my heart, he wouldn't -- I know it."
Copeland is expected to surrender herself on May 23.
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