Troy teen charged in father's death released from jail - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Troy teen charged in father's death released from jail


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 dropped.

Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally says the court found prosecutors failed to properly instruct grand jury.

"The 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 Seventh Avenue.

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 the shooting.

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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