Family still waits for justice a year after girl's death

It’s been a full year since 12-year-old Shyanne Somers never came home from a babysitting job.

Her accused killer, George Ford Jr., still awaits trial on second degree murder charges for allegedly running the Otselic girl down with his pick-up in the early hours of July 8, 2007.

Ford, 43, of Piscataway, N.J., remains behind bars in the Chenango County Correctional Facility, where he’s been since pleading not guilty last August. No other significant appearances in court have been made since.

James Somers, Shyanne’s father, says he is still waiting for justice to be served. “It has been a long wait,” he said. “This is the only closure we will get ... and we have not gotten it yet.”

Somers, who has remained quiet publicly since his daughter’s death, said he feels he needs to speak up now for Shyanne’s rights.

“That man (Ford) has more rights than my daughter. That’s not right,” said Somers, whose daughter went with Ford that night to babysit after a graduation party. “My daughter isn’t here to holler for herself anymore. We have to do it for her.”

“No more real development has been made,” said Somers of the case, adding that he believes the District Attorney Joseph McBride and local law enforcement officers are ready to take it to trial. “I am in contact with the DA, and the arresting officers call periodically.”

The reason for the delay: Ford and Peter Wlasiuk, awaiting a re-trial in the suspicious death of his wife in 2002, are sharing defense attorney Randel Scharf. Officials have said Ford’s trial won’t move ahead until Wlasiuk’s is completed.

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