SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - Closing arguments are underway in Gloria Nelligan's murder trial in Schenectady County Court.
The 43-year-old grandmother is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, accused of beating her grandson to death.
The defense first told the judge Monday morning that 'beating meant discipline' in the home. The defense attorney admitted that the evidence and testimony surrounding the death of 8-year-old Sha'iim Nelligan are not pleasant; the reason the defense chose a bench trial and not a jury trial. The defense reminded the judge to not let her emotions make the decision.
Nelligan's defense argues that she was parenting the boy, trying to teach him not to steal. Prosecutors claim she killed the boy after learning he stole a pack of gum from a local store.
In February, first responders found Sha'iim unresponsive in the Schenectady home. The medical examiner determined he died after a 12-hour long beating allegedly at the hands of his grandmother, who was his legal guardian.
The prosecution is now making closing arguments.
Nelligan faces up to life behind bars if convicted.
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