GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – A jury has found Gary Waite, a Glens Falls man
accused of causing the death of
his 15-month-old, guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and endangering
the welfare of a child.
The jury took 90 minutes to deliberate on Tuesday night and one
hour to deliberate on Wednesday.
been waiting for two years," says Jesse's mother, Lisa Younes, "I'm happy Jesse
got justice and if he hadn't I would've fought for it still."
Closing arguments were made Tuesday morning after several days
of witnesstestimony. During
the trial, Waite did not take the stand in his own defense.
During the course of the trial, the jury
heard graphic testimony about the extent of the boy's fatal injuries. Police
say Waite allegedly confessed to throwing the boy on the couch where he then
fell and hit his head on the floor, leading to a severe head injury and death.
This was one of the key arguments for the
prosecution in the 2nd Degree Murder Charge was convincing the jury of
depraved indifference to human life.
During closing arguments, Waite's Attorney Marc Zuckerman told
jurors that they did not have enough information or evidence to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that Waite didn't care about his son Jessie Smith.
"He was extremely concerned, upset, and hysterical. You heard
the descriptions they came from the police," said Zuckerman.
But DA Kate Hogan told the eight-man four-woman jury, that Waite
did not seek immediate medical care for Smith as he was clinging to life.
"He didn't do anything. He was choosing to protect himself as
he documents in text messages his child dying before his very eyes," she
It's been a very difficult day for the family of Jessie Smith, his
mother says that Tuesday is the first day she could bring herself to this
trial, and when photos of her son were shown in court she and her family were
brought back to the day he died from what police and the DA says was a brutal
Jessie's aunt, Tricia Grenier, says she and her family are angry
that Waite still maintains his innocence.
"It's been a huge hurt to our family and I'm sure to his
family too but our families have suffered not only with Jessie's death but with
this trial and he just he needs to, they need to finally put him away and get
this over with," she said. "The difficult part about the whole
thing is just not admitting to saying that he did this to Jessie and owning up
to it and taking the responsibility for it."
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