OTSELIC – Today at 3 p.m., accused murderer George Ford Jr. will have his verdict handed to him by Broome County Court Judge Joseph F. Cawley. The tragedy which left 12-year-old Shyanne Somers of Otselic dead has generated controversy which has been even more potent for the small communities in the region of the victim’s hometown.
The Evening Sun contacted area residents who live in those communities to see what they had to say about the unfolding murder trial.
Alan Huntley, 65, of South Otselic, lives on Will Warner Road, the scene of the alleged murder. Huntley said he had not been following the case in the media and didn’t know many details of the incident.
“It just seemed kind of funny to me, a grown man with a girl that age at that hour. A grown man shouldn’t be with a girl like that at that hour unless he’s her father,” he said.
Although Huntley lives only a couple miles from where Somers died, he said the incident hasn’t affected his view of the community or made him feel unsafe.
“No, not at all, this is a good place to live and he’s (Ford) an outsider who hasn’t been here that long. This community is a good community, and I’m glad to live here,” he said.
Chris Lavancha, 48, of Preston, said he’s been reading newspaper accounts of the unfolding trial on a regular basis. “I think he’s guiltier than sin,” said Lavancha, who added that the graphic circumstances surrounding the crime were “hard to put into words.”