NORWICH Ė The fate of accused murderer George Ford Jr. rests in the hands of the bench trialís sole juror, Broome County Judge Joseph Cawley, who told the court heíll render his decision at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Ford, 44, of Piscataway, N.J., is charged with second degree murder in the July 2007 death of his babysitter, 12-year-old Shyanne Somers of Otselic. Ford claims he accidentally ran her over while turning his truck around on Will Warner Road in the Town of Otselic. The prosecution says Ford murdered her in an effort to silence her over an unknown incident that happened between the two in the hours before her death.
Ford said he accidentally ran over Shyanne at around midnight on July 7, 2007 while District Attorney Joseph A. McBride asserts that a GPS tracker, placed in the defendantís truck by his estranged wife, proves he killed Somers at around 3 a.m. after the two spent over two hours behind a vacant seasonal residence.
On the witness stand in Chenango County Court Tuesday, Ford said he retreated to the residence after the accident, not before, because he was in shock over the girlís death and didnít know what to do.
McBride said the GPS unit shows Fordís truck detouring to Will Warner Road at around midnight and that it was in the area of an unoccupied seasonal residence from midnight to 3 a.m. During this time, the DA says Ford and the victim were together and that something inappropriate happened between the two.
Ford said he was traveling to see if a friend was home on a nearby road but didnít see his car there, so he kept driving about half a mile to Will Warner Road. Once there, Ford said he pulled over at the seasonal residence to throw the GPS in a pond, but when he was unable to locate the body of water in the dark, he simply ďtossed it into the grass.Ē Ford said he was familiar with the area and that he and his wife had considered buying the property.