Man accused of murder claims other defendant is culpable; seeks court review

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.

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