SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Opening statements occurred Monday morning in the case of Nelson D. Patino, the man accused of fatally stabbing his wife and 5-year-old child and injuring his 2-year-old on Dec. 1, 2021 in Duanesburg.
Patino was recently deemed competent to stand trial, according to Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney. After being indicted in January 2022, Patino pleaded not guilty to six charges, including murder, attempted murder, and assault, in Schenectady County Court.
The first half of the morning was the prosecution. Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Christina Tremonte painted for the 12 jurors and 2 alternates a graphic scene. She told them, “this case will take you to a place you don’t want to go.”
The ADA described investigators finding 5 year old Jacob Patino dead of stab wounds to the chest with a knife next to his body. The mother, Alexandria Bustamante Gomez, alive, also with chest stab wounds, later died on the operating table at Albany Med. Finally, little Anthony Gomez, 2 years old, the lone survivor with knife injuries and defensive wounds.
The prosecution hammered in on Patino’s lack of action after the crime, stating that the defendant called 9-1-1 to say that he stabbed his family. When 9-1-1 operators asked the defendant to render aid to the injured on scene, Patino told them he could not.
The ADA stated that the defendant had self-inflicted superficial stab wounds, which indicated a suicide attempt — meaning that Patino knew the gravity of his actions.
As for the defense, Attorney Michael McDermott painted Patino as a family man. A hard working Colombian immigrant who operated a restaurant with his brothers, living a completely normal life until one day, COVID induced psychosis made him snap. McDermott told NEWS 10 during court recess that Patino tested positive for the virus after being taken into custody.
“Nelson’s never been arrested, never charged with even a speeding or a parking ticket,” McDermott said.
“The people [prosecution] have not come forward with a single shred of motive. There is no domestic abuse that preceded this, there’s no drug use, there’s no alcoholism, there’s no gambling, there’s no infidelity, there’s no financial issues…” the defense lawyer continued.
“What prompted this to happen? And that remains a mystery unless you acknowledge the fact that mental illness played the predominant part of it,” McDermott added.
The defense attorney cited that virus induced psychosis is not a unique concept, stating that he will present evidence of these kinds of cases going back as far as the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.
Defense lawyer Mc Dermott’s last remark: “the only sane verdict in this insane case is a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity”.
The killings, which occurred in 2021, are being tried now because of COVID-19 related court delays.