Ford murder case to be decided by a judge, not a jury

NORWICH – Accused murderer George Ford Jr. waived his right to a jury trial and has instead elected to place his fate in the hands of the judge.

Defense attorney Randel Scharf of Cooperstown told the court Thursday evening, “he’s absolutely certain he wishes to waive his right to a jury trial.”

Scharf said the decision came after hours of discussion and months of consideration.

Ford, 43, originally of Piscataway, N.J., was arrested July 8, 2007 after he arrived at Chenango Memorial Hospital with the body of his 12-year-old baby-sitter, Shyanne A. Somers of South Otselic.

Ford claimed he accidentally ran over the girl five hours earlier with his 2004 Ford pick-up as he attempted to turn his truck around.

In August of that year, police charged Ford with second degree murder after they discovered a GPS tracking system in the bed of his truck they said contradicted the story he gave investigators. The device was placed there unknown to Ford by his wife, who said she was concerned he was having an affair.

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