NORWICH – Tensions ran high in Chenango County Court Monday on the final day of testimony in the murder trial of Ganesh R. Ramsaran.
Chenango County Court Judge Frank B. Revoir Jr., District Attorney Joseph McBride and the defendant on the stand, Ramsaran, all used tones not present in the proceedings thus far.
Defense counsel Gilberto Garcia remained calm in his chair amidst the bickering.
Monday morning, Garcia completed the direct examination of his client, who the government alleges killed his wife the morning of Dec. 11, 2012.
Garcia asked Ramsaran to describe significant happenings on certain dates.
Ramsaran said that on Dec. 14, 2012, he called Detective Kevin Powell and Detective John Fern of the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, and asked the two to pick up some hairs Ramsaran had located in the bathroom garbage. The defendant said the detectives arrived at approximately 11 a.m. or noon and Ramsaran said he additionally provided information regarding the family insurance policy and passports.
Ramsaran said on Dec. 15, 2012, a birthday sleepover was held for his eldest daughter. The defendant said he asked his daughter if she still wanted to have the sleepover — even though her mother was missing — and she said she still wanted friends over.
That same day, Ramsaran said he went to the home of Rick Caputo — who previously testified for the government — and asked them to watch over Eileen Sayles, the woman with whom Ramsaran had a love affair and whom was the victim’s best friend. Ramsaran said he told the Caputos that Sayles was his soulmate, and he planned to divorce from Jennifer Ramsaran after the holidays.
As Ramsaran had a tendency to “ramble” throughout his testimony, Garcia reminded his client, “don’t volunteer anything.”
Ramsaran said on Dec. 16, 2012, he told his father-in-law, Thomas Renz, that he needed to get away, and the defendant asked Renz if he wanted to take him for a drive.
The defendant said he had no specific plans to go anywhere.
The two traveled on Route 23 and drove past where the phone was eventually found. When Renz and Ramsaran almost arrived in Plymouth, Ramsaran received a text message, resulting in the pair to turn around and head back to the Ramsaran home.
Ramsaran recalled that he learned later that his father-in-law had found Jennifer’s van. The defendant said he asked Renz where the van was located, but the call disconnected, so he called 911.
“I never saw it,” said Ramsaran regarding the van as the two had driven past Plank Road Manor. “Never.”
Between Dec. 16 and Dec. 24, 2012, Ramsaran said he called 911 on multiple occasions to see if there was any new information concerning Jennifer’s status.
Ramsaran said he spoke with Powell on Dec. 16, and as a result of that conversation, he waited at his home, and his father-in-law came over.
After an objection from McBride, Ramsaran said, “That’s all I’m allowed to say, I guess.”
With regard to Ramsaran’s children, he said, “It was rough. Had to take it minute by minute. I don’t think I told them about the van or anything.”
Garcia asked his client if he withheld anything from the police. “None whatsoever,” said Ramsaran. “Whatever was requested was provided.” He said he did not contact an attorney at that time, and never told police he would not cooperate with them.
Ramsaran said he spoke with Lieutenant Richard Cobb the most throughout the investigation. He said he spoke with Cobb more than 100 times. Other authorities he spoke to included former Chenango County Undersheriff James Lloyd, Detective Powell, Detective Fern, and Detective Miller. But he said he contacted Cobb on a daily basis.
Ramsaran said he called Cobb about status updates, leads, forensics from the van, and after Jennifer’s body was located, he called for updates on the cause of death. “We talked every day, except for weekends,” said Ramsaran.