NORWICH – The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division on Thursday denied convicted murderer George Ford Jr.’s appeal in the 2007 killing of 12-year-old Shyanne Somers.
In February of 2009, Ford was found guilty following a non-jury trial for the crime of second degree murder and subsequently sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
Ford, 46, was accused of murdering Somers by running her over with his truck on the night of July 7, 2007 on Will Warner Road in the Town of Otselic.
According to a court memorandum, released Dec. 22, there was “considerable conflicting evidence” regarding what exactly transpired between the time when Ford picked up Somers to baby-sit – at her home shortly after 11 p.m. – and when he arrived at the hospital with her body at approximately 4:30 a.m.
During his trial, Ford maintained his innocence, claiming the girl’s death was an accident. Police, however, learned “early in their investigation” that Ford’s wife, Cindy – suspecting her husband was involved in an extramarital affair – had placed a global position system, or GPS, in his truck. Information from the GPS – paired with additional evidence gathered during the investigation – led police to believe Ford had taken Somers to an uninhabited seasonal residence on Will Warner Road for approximately three hours prior to running her over as she attempted to escape him on foot.
No direct evidence of sexual abuse was found during the course of the investigation, although Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride, following the trial and guilty verdict, said it was still an issue.
Ford’s appeal was based on the argument that there was “inadequate proof that he intended to kill the victim” and that his “conviction was not supported by legally sufficient evidence,” according to the memorandum...