Ford takes the stand in his own defense

NORWICH – For the first time since his arrest over a year and a half ago, accused murdered George Ford Jr. told his side of the story about the night 12-year-old Shyanne Somers was killed.

Under questioning by Defense Attorney Randel Scharf in Chenango County Friday, Ford told the court a version of events never before heard by the public.

“There’s not a waking hour that goes by that I don’t think of this,” said Ford during his testimony.

Ford, 44, of Piscataway, N.J., is charged with second degree murder. Ford arrived at Chenango Memorial Hospital with the girl’s body at around 4:30 a.m. on July 8, 2007, claiming he accidentally ran her over four hours earlier, while turning his truck around on Will Warner Road in the Town of Otselic.

Sheriff’s Lt. James E. Lloyd said investigators found the circumstances of the case suspicious and initially charged Ford with first degree reckless endangerment, saying he tested positive for alcohol and cocaine.

They later discovered a GPS tracking system inside his truck that recorded Ford’s travels on the night in question.

Police claim the GPS showed the vehicle arriving at the scene of Somers’ death for the first time at 3:03 a.m. and in the three hours prior to that, it was parked behind a vacant home a half-mile from where she was killed. They say device then shows the truck traveling on a number of back roads and past the hospital. Lloyd testified that Ford originally denied knowing anything about the residence and claimed the GPS contradicted his story.

Ford took the stand Friday and disagreed with police, saying they had confused the details of his original statements, which were the only ones he has given since the day of his arrest July 8, 2007.

Ford testified that he and his wife, Cindy, were at a South Otselic graduation party for most of the day on July 7, 2007. Ford said he had a few beers, a couple of shots of whiskey and a single line of cocaine at the celebration.

“I don’t know why. Other people had it at the party. It was stupid, I guess,” said Ford about using the cocaine.

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