NORWICH – Appearing in Chenango County Court last week, one of the two men charged with the murder of an 11-year-old Morris girl is seeking to repress statements he made to police, and requests the top charge against him, second-degree murder, be dismissed.
James S. Brower, a Norwich resident, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence, and making a false written statement.
He, along with 34-year-old Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding, also of Norwich, were charged with the murder of Jacelyn O’Connor. Rundstrom-Wooding faces the more serious charges of the two men. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree rape, and charges relating to child pornography and lying to investigators.
Speaking on behalf of 36-year-old Brower on Friday, Assistant Public Defender Zachary T. Wentworth, claimed the evidence did not show his client had actually committed any violent act against the victim in the case. Investigators had previously said Brower was an accomplice in the case by helping to cover it up.
“We believe Mr. Rundstrom-Wooding is culpable in the case,” said Wentworth.
Wentworth asked County Court Judge Frank Revoir, Jr. to review the grand jury testimony and the indictment handed down in the case, which ultimately led to Brower being charged. Wentworth said it showed no proof of any physical acts against the victim by Brower.
Revoir said he would review the request and make a decision within two weeks.