NORWICH — The closing arguments in the murder trial of Ganesh R. Ramsaran were completed Tuesday in Chenango County Court, and the jury was read its instructions and was sent to begin deliberations at approximately 3 p.m.
Defense attorney Gilberto Garcia began with his closing Tuesday morning and said that his message has remained the same throughout the trial: the investigation was not complete.
“Your job is to be fair and logical,” said Garcia to the jury. “This is a man accused of committing a murder.”
Garcia told the jury that the most important element they should look at while examining the evidence is the element of intent.
Defense counsel gave an analogy of a wall with red and gray paint. He said if the evidence paints the wall only partially with gray areas, the verdict should return as not guilty.
“Based on the testimony and the evidence, you will see gray paint on the wall,” said Garcia. “That means there was not enough red paint to finish the wall.”
Garcia told the jury that the prosecution pressed the motive element, but said motive is not intent, and both much be present. “The existence of motive does not prove guilt,” Garcia said.
He said guilt cannot be proven because there was no evidence presented about intent.
Garcia said there was a death, a loss to children, a family and a community, and he said Jennifer was a great mother and beautiful woman. “I would never under any circumstances try to assassinate the character of someone so loving,” Garcia said. “One thing I know for sure, as a community, we want closure.”
Garcia said the police also wanted closure.
“At what moment did my client form an intent?” asked Garcia to the jury. “You haven’t heard anything about that.” Garcia said the fact his client fell in love with another woman, Eileen Sayles, does not show intent.
Said Garcia, “On Dec. 17, 2012, Ramsaran was a suspect in this case. As I said before, he was the easiest target. Police had that mindset from the very beginning.” As a side-note, Garcia said the authorities at the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office are very nice people.
Garcia pointed out to the jury that the signal of the phone on the Find My iPhone app was moving when Ramsaran was with former New Berlin Police Chief Dominic Commesso on the morning of Dec. 12, 2012. “Commesso was an honest man in his testimony and he too said the phone was moving. To know for sure, we would have had an expert from Apple. There was an Apple person on the witness list, but didn’t show up.”
Garcia said both Commesso and Ramsaran testified to the phone’s movement the morning of Dec. 12, 2012, but that Lieutenant Richard Cobb, lead detective, tried to discredit it.
“I don’t blame him,” said Garcia. “This is a fight.”
Garcia said, “McBride (Chenango County District Attorney) went after my client yesterday. It took a lot of courage for me not to make a show. But I wanted you to see that exchange and make a determination.” The attorney did say that his client may have made wise remarks, became defensive at times, or spoke too much.