Judge upholds Albany man’s double murder conviction


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Supreme Court judge Hon. Peter Lynch upheld the double murder conviction of Edward “Ted” Mero in a decision Friday morning, saying he did not find clear evidence that a potential conflict had an impact on the case and denied the motion to vacate Mero’s conviction.

Lynch began by thanking Matthew Hug, Mero’s new defense attorney for bringing “private, undisclosed” work relationship to light.

Hug claimed the relationship between the assistant DA and Mero’s defense attorney threatened Mero’s defense. Hug filed a motion to have the conviction vacated to allow for a second trial.

Steven Sharp, an assistant DA who prosecuted the case had been moonlighting for Mero’s defense attorney Cheryl Coleman. Coleman insisted there was no conflict and that all the cases Sharp worked on for her were outside of Albany County. Sharp never disclosed the arrangement to the DA David Soares and as a result resigned.

Mero was convicted by a jury in February of 2017 in the killings of his former roommate Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine of Schenectady.

He was sentenced to 50 years to life.

“The conflict is plain as day.” said Judge Lynch, who had also presided over the original trial.

However, Lynch said that during the trial he had only witnessed two opposing sides aggressively trying to win. “This is not one of those rare cases where the appearance of the impropriety itself justifies vacating the conviction. Your motion to vacate the conviction is in all respects denied.”

News10’s Anya Tucker spoke with Lori Dean, Shelby Countermine’s mother. She said the past two years have taken a toll on her and her family and that she did not wish to attend today’s decision. “I’m glad I wasn’t there. I don’t think I could handle being in that courtroom today….He’s where he needs to be. I just hope- once again that I don’t ever, ever have to see that man again. I hope that now it’s finally over.”

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office offered this statement:

“Our thoughts continue to be with the families of the victims.  We are pleased that after a three day hearing it became clear to the Court that no other members of the District Attorney’s Office were aware of the outside work that Ms. Coleman and Mr. Sharp were engaged in.  We take the matter very seriously and despite the fact that this is the only time an issue like this has arisen in 16 years and during the employment of hundreds of ADAs, we will do everything in our power to assure that it doesn’t happen again.  Our thoughts and sympathies continue to remain with the families of Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine during this process, and we will remain steadfast through any future appeals.”


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