NORWICH – The murder trial of George Ford Jr. was adjourned Wednesday and will not resume until Monday morning so the defense can review new GPS evidence.
District Attorney Joseph A. McBride said he came into court yesterday with intentions of calling Department of Environmental Conservation Forester James Prunoske of Sherburne to the stand to “verify” the Global Positioning System’s (GPS) coordinates that defense attorney Randel Scharf called into question during Detective Sgt. Richard M. Cobb’s testimony Monday.
However, Trunoske brought with him GPS information, including four maps, that had never been seen before by the defense or the prosecution. Scharf objected, requesting an adjournment until 9 a.m. Monday so his experts could review the material.
The device has become a pivotal part of the case against Ford. Investigators say the GPS data contradicts the accused’s version of events.
Ford, 43, of Piscataway, N.J., is charged with the July 2007 second degree murder of 12-year-old Shyanne Somers of Otselic. At the time of the incident, Ford arrived at Chenango Memorial Hospital with the victim’s body at 4:30 a.m., claiming he accidentally ran the girl four hours earlier, while turning his truck around on Will Warner Road in the Town of Otselic.
He told police he was upset over the scene and became disoriented on his way to the hospital, causing the journey to take over four hours. Police initially charged Ford with first degree reckless endangerment, saying he tested positive for alcohol and cocaine.