Thursday, March 20, 2008


Wesley Molina Cirino, also known as Flaco has been found guilty by an Oneida County Jury.

Several of the officers went to Officer Lindsey's grave immediately following the verdict.

Deliberations: Jury decides to stay and deliberate further into the night

The judge has given the jury a choice to either go home and come back tomorrow, or resume deliberating.

The jury has chosen to continue deliberating tonight.

Deliberations: 9 o'clock to determine what happens next?

Unconfirmed, but we are hearing amidst whispers in the courtroom that around 9 o'clock, the judge is going to ask the jury what they want to do for tonight.

Deliberations: Friends, family, and fellow officers take seats

Jury was supposed to resume at 8:15 p.m. They have not yet returned to the courtroom.

However, family members, friends, and fellow police officers, have returned to the courtroom, and are taking their seats.

Deliberations: Hour Recess

The court has taken a one hour recess. They continue to deliberate shortly thereafter.

Just earlier, the jurors re-enetered and asked the judge for the definition of "beyond a shadow of a doubt."

Deliberations: Judge tells jurors to order dinner...

The read back of the testimony of Sammy Rivera to the jurors has just finished, and they're continuing to deliberate.

Judge Donalty has offered to get them menus and said they can order dinner around 6 or 6:15 p.m.

Deliberations: Sammy Rivera's testimony is being read back to jurors

Sammy Rivera's testimony. THAT's what jurors have asked to have read back to them.

It's being read back to them now.

Deliberations: Jury asks for readback, but of what?

The jury has asked for a readback of something...but we have not been told what that something is just yet...

Deliberations: Judge releases alternate jurors

The judge has released the alternate jurors.

Deliberations: Judge tells jurors to try and deliberate more

Judge Barry Donalty addressed jurors and told them that if they don't reach a unanimous agreement, a new trial will have to be scheduled with a new jury. He told them it is not uncommon for jurors to believe theat they will never reach a verdict.

The judge also said that he's not asking any juror to violate his own conscious, or to just agree with the conclusion of others. But he did he tell them not to let pride or stubborness get in the way and make them adhere to a conclusion that is no longer correct. He asked them to listen to their fellow jurors, and to deliberate some more.

The disappointment as no decision is reached is visible on the faces of the police officers.

Wesley Molina-Cirino faces the charge of aggravated murder, which could mean life in prison with no parole.

Deliberations: Not over yet, jury split on guilt, Judge to give Allen Charge

Currently, although it is not over yet, the jury in the trial of Wesley Molina-Cirino is currently hung.

A Note just handed that says "X amount of us think he is guilty, X amount that says he isn't guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge Barry Donalty is bringing the jurors back in and is going to give them an Allen Charge, in which he tells them not to give up their strong convictions, but to try and deliberate more to see if they reach an agreement.

Deliberations: Lunch recess until 2 p.m.

Jurors have broken for lunch, still with no indicatin of a verdict yet. They will resume deliberations at 2 p.m.

Deliberations: Jury wants to see all 5 1/2 hours of videotaped Flaco interview

Jurors have clarified for the judge that they wish to see all 5 - 5 1/2 hours of the videotaped interview of Flaco with police taken on June 6, 2007.

A visible sense of disappointment could be seen among the police officers gathered in the courtroom.

Deliberations: Jury makes several requests

No verdict yet in the Flaco trial.

Just before 9:30 this morning, the jury sent out a series of notes, making several requests. Jurors aren't allowed to talk, so they have to write everything down and have a note sent to the judge.

The first request ... they asked to see all photographs received into evidence. They have been provided with those.

They also wanted Officer Lindsey's "radio dispatch" during the traffic stop of Sammy Rivera. Judge Barry Donalty said he assumed that meant the audio transmissions. If so, that will be provided.

Jurors also wanted a paper or hard copy of the transcript of the June 6 interrogation of Wesley Molina Cirino (AKA Flaco) by police.

The judge is going to ask for them to clarify what portions they want, because those interrogations are 6 hours long.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Closing Arguments: the Prosecution

It's 10:31 and the defendant is back in the courtroom from a 10-minute recess following his attorney's closing arguments. The jury is taking their seats. The judge is back at the bench and has directed prosecutor Laurie Lisi to begin closing arguments. We hear transmissions from a police radio and see a white Utica Police cruiser on the monitor. Now we hear a frantic officer say "we've got an officer down!' More chaotic transmissions as another officer says, "expedite 'em! expedite 'em!" about the Utica Fire Department coming to treat the officer. Now we hear a hysterical woman calling 9-1-1 saying an officer has been shot. Now prosecutor Laurie Lisi is speaking to the jury. She's recounting the night Officer Lindsey was killed. Those two words no officer ever wants to hear, "officer down'. "Nine minutes, nine minutes ladies and gentlemen, and in the blink of an eye th elife of every Utica Police officer was indeed forever changed". Lisi says Tom Lindsey was assasinated; ambushed by a coward in a white hoodie. She tells the jury they're here today to consider one charge only: aggravated murder.

Lisi asks if there is any doubt that the elements of the crime of aggravated murder have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Is there any doubt Officer Lindsey was killed while performing his lawful duties? She says the only real question for the jury to deliberate is "who killed Officer Thomas Lindsey". She points out how the defense spend nearly all her closing remarks talking about Sammy Rivera and acknowledges he is the most important witness. She says defense has spent so much time on him because Rivera is an eyewitness to the brutal slaying of Officer Lindsey. Lisi says he is the most crucial witness, but reminds jurors that case doesn't rise and fall on his testimony alone. She too asks jurors not to consider Rivera's testimony in a vaccuum but in the context with all other evidence. Lisi says if jurors do that, they'll have no problem concluding that the defendant is guilty of the aggravated murder of Officer Lindsey.

Prosecutor Lisi says Rivera's story, with a few exceptions, has remained constant. Lisi reminds jurors that another witness testified that he was in the car with Sammy Rivera, alone, except for baby Luis, at 9pm the night Officer Lindsey was killed. She says there are no lagging time periods as the defense suggests. Lisi says Rivera rolls through the stop sign at Eagle and Neilson Streets because he had car trouble. Now Lisi is getting to where Officer Lindsey pulled over Rivera for running the stop sign at 9:16pm (when the officer called the stop into dispatch).

Now, prosecutor Lisi shows on a monitor an image of Officer Lindsey's computer screen in his police cruiser--the name Ishmael Rivera is on it, verifying that Sammy Rivera at first gave Officer Lindsey his brother's name--something Rivera admitted to in this case. Lisi says all this verifies Sammy was driving the Neon when Officer Lindsey pulled it over--who else would give the name Ishmael Rivera but a family member? Lisi says Rivera's wallet was still in officer's cruiser after he was shot because Officer Lindsey actually was not going to let Rivera drive away, but rather, wait for a licensed driver to come and get Rivera. Lisi says there is no doubt Sammy Rivera was the driver of the red Neon. Lisi asks jurors to consider that "Flaco" was interviewed extensively over several days and never once indicated Sammy Rivera was not the operator of the red Neon.

Prosecutor is talking about how Officer Lindsey had radioed back to dispatch, "code four", meaning everything is ok. She points out that he didn't immediately call in "code four" because at the time, he didn't know who or how many people were in the car--not until he walked up to it and saw. Lisi points out that, to other officers who'd driven by the vehicle stop, Officer Lindsey looked relaxed, so they became relaxed and therefore didn't take note of details--i.e., the driver of the Neon. (Defense pointed out that the officers couldn't identify Sammy Rivera as the driver of the Neon). Lisi points out that Officer Lindsey was waving fellow officers on before they even reached him. Asks jury if they think that the officers don't think of this every night when they go home and put their heads of the pillow, "what if....what if I'd stayed behind". Lisa says identification is a funny thing; that she could parade someone by the jury and ask them all to describe the person and that they'd all have different accounts because different people remember different things.

Prosecutor Lisi suggests it's not that one of the officers doesn't believe that Rivera was the driver of the Neon...but rather, that the officer didn't get a good look at the driver.

Prosecution closing arguments continue. Our cameras are still recording but I'm off to the station for the noon news.....

Defense Begins Closing Arguments

Defense Attorney Rebecca Wittman begins her closing arguments as virtually every attorney does: by thanking the jury for their attention. She tells them the toughest work is yet ahead. She says the key to this trial can be summed up in two to three pieces of evidence. She talks about the prosecution's 'cavalcade of jailhouse witnesses' and the videotape of the 'interrogation of Wesley'. She says the prosecution depends on the fact that Sammy Rivera is telling the truth, that he was the driver of the Neon, and that he was alone in the car with the baby. She says if Rivera isn't the driver, the whole case crumbles.

She tells the jury to try and find, in the hours of police interrogation of the defendant, any admission that he killed Officer Lindsey. She tells them they won't find that, but what they will find are countless denials. She reminds them that our system depends on a witness telling the truth, and asks the jury if they got that from Sammy Rivera. She urges the jury to ask to hear Sammy Rivera's testimony again.

Defense attorney Wittman says the baby in the car is Sammy Rivera's undoing. She talks about everything Sammy Rivera did the night Officer Lindsey was killed. She recounts Sammy's claim to have seen defendant Wesley Molina Cirino ("Flaco") getting into a black Monte Carlo at a cornhill store the night Officer Lindsey was killed. Wittman calls Sammy Rivera a 'very responsible drug dealer'....and talks about how he brought his girlfriend's small son along as he conducted drug transactions the night of April 12th, effort to diminish Rivera's credibility in the eyes of the jury as they prepare to weigh the credibility of his testimony. Wittman recounts the events of that night and tells jurors if they look at testimony and call logs, they'll see there are about 17 minutes that are unaccounted for from Sammy's last errand, to the time he rolled through the stop sign for which Officer Lindsey pulled him over.

Defense attorney Wittman is reading parts of Sammy Rivera's testimony back to the jury, along with the questions the attorneys were asking him. She says Sammy Rivera's story really starts to fall apart when he gets to the part where Officer Lindsey pulls him over. She says it doesn't make sense that Rivera willingly tells the officer he doesn't have a license. She says Sammy's claim that he got out of his car when the officer pulled him over in order to fix the baby in the car seat (Sammy had claimed the child was fast asleep) is not believable. "Ladies and gentlemen, come on--common sense and experience tell us you don't do this" she adds that if you're an 80-year-old lady in Clinton you don't do this, much less if you're a drug dealer in cornhill.

Defense attorney Wittman finds in incredible that the officer didn't tell Rivera to get back in his car. Wittman recounts testimony of a Utica Police officer who drove by Officer Lindsey and Sammy Rivera after the officer had pulled him over and who, shortly after, could not identify Rivera as the driver of the car Officer Lindsey had pulled over. Wittman is now reading that officer's testimony, complete with attorneys' questions, to the jury. Wittman talks about how badly the officer must feel that he can't identify Rivera and then says, 'guess what??? He's got some company.' Wittman says Sammy Rivera seems to be the only person who thinks Sammy Rivera was the driver of the car. Sammy said officer Lindsey was cutting him a break because he had his son in his car. He was going to let him off for paying an old fine. When Rivera thanked him he claims Officer Lindsey said he was doing it for the baby-because it was a cold and rainy night. Wittman questions the credibility of the officer letting Rivera drive without a license (Rivera claims he told Officer Lindsey he didn't have a license).

Defense attorney Rebecca Wittman is devoting the bulk of her closing arguments to shooting holes through the testimony of prosecution star witness Sammy Rivera. Wittman picks up a gun to gesture that Sammy Rivera claims he was looking down the barrell of a gun after Wesley Molina Cirino shot Officer Lindsey. She asks the jury if they believe for a minute that, if they had a gun pointed in their face, they'd have the wherewithall to notice the long, skinny fingers holding it, as Rivera did. She questions whether a sleeping baby in the backseat would be enough to stop a man who'd just shot and killed a police officer from shooting Rivera--an eyewitness--too.

Attorney Wittman now says it makes no sense that, after witnessing the shooting, Rivera goes to get his girlfriend, crying hysterically, yet doesn't say that defendant "Flaco" did it. Wittman is still reading Rivera's testimony to the jury. Can't help but wonder if the jury will ask to hear it again during their deliberations since Wittman is reading so much of it to them during her closing arguments. Wittman says Sammy Rivera has some 'splaining' to do in light of the fact that he had Officer Lindsey's blood and brain matter on his car. She said he went down to the police station, ...'got a beating'.

Wittman points out that on April 12th or 13th, Rivera doesn't mention Wesley Molina Cirino. Says Rivera doesn't mention it till April 21st, when he 'has a revelation.' Wittman suggests it isn't credible that Rivera would wait so long to tell police who he saw shoot Officer Lindsey. "What other story does Sammy have trouble sticking to?" asks defense attorney Wittman. She is now back to reading his trial testimony to the jury. Wittman now says police want to believe Sammy Rivera because their friend and colleague is dead and Rivera's account of what happened is the best they've got. She talks about how painful it was to watch the officers on the witness stand, breaking down and crying, but points out that it tells you something about their objectivity. Wittman tells the jury it's not up to them to solve the case, but to decide it based on the evidence they've heard. Tells the jury you can't look at Rivera's testimony in a vaccuum; says they have to consider fact that he didn't reveal that it was Wesley Molina Cirino who shot Officer Lindsey until several days after the shooting. Wittman suggests Rivera gave 'wildly diverging accounts' about what happened the night Officer Lindsey was killed. Says if the jury is left wondering what happened that night, isn't that reasonable doubt?

Wittman asks jurors how Molina Cirino pulled this off without knowing in advance that Officer Lindsey would be at that intersection at that time. Asks how he knew to be there without Sammy Rivera's assistance? Wittman points out that defendant "Flaco" didn't even leave town after the murder, but sticks around Utica. Asks if defendant's actions after Officer Lindsey's murder are actions of a man with a guilty conscience. Asks why he'd be walking around the streets of cornhill while hundreds of police are looking for Officer Lindsey's killer.

Wittman tells jurors that she and defendant don't have a courtroom full of men in blue to lend their support to them....that they have something more powerful-ladies and gentlemen of the jury....sworn to return a fair and impartial verdict...asks the jury: please don't make Wesley Molina Cirino a sacrificial lamb to avenge the untimely death of Officer Lindsey.... Wittman says either the people have met their burden or they have not. Wittman says being the best suspect they've got may be enough to convict Wesley Molina Cirino in a court of public opinion...but it's not enough once they enter the jury room. At 10:21 defense attorney Rebecca Wittman is finished with her closing arguments.

Closing Arguments: The Defense

It is 9:00 and corrections officers are bringing the defendant into the courtroom. The judge just entered the courtroom. The judge says they must take care of a few housekeeping matters before the jury is brought out. The judge says he has made a verdict sheet for the jury. Neither attorney objects. The judge calls for the jury. The defense makes closing arguments first because the law says that the people (people of the state of New York, i.e., the prosecution) have the last word. The judge told jurors at the start of the trial and will remind them during his 'charge' that closing arguments are not considered evidence. The judge just told the jurors that after closing arguments, he will charge them, or, instruct them as to the law and how it applies to this case. The more charges a defendant faces, the longer the judge's charge takes. The judge just told the jury that nothing that he or either attorney says constitutes evidence in this case.

Closing Arguments

Closing Arguments to begin in about 17 minutes. The usual contingent of Utica police officers and friends and family of Officer Tom Lindsey are here. Also present today--Dave and Kathy Corr--parents of New Hartford Police Officer Joe Corr, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in February of 2006.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day Six of Testimony: Prosecution Cross-Examines Ortiz

Prosecution is now cross - examining Wanda Ortiz. Ortiz says she's been with Jose Cirino for eight years. Ortiz says Wesley Molina Cirino has spent the night and had meals at her home. Ortiz remembers talking to police April 22, 2007 about Officer Lindsey's murder. Prosecution asks Ortiz if she has a pretty routine schedule-she says yes. Prosecution asks if Wesley Molina Cirino was at her house night of April 12, 2007. Ortiz says yes. Prosecution asks Ortiz if she recalls telling investigators that she fell asleep that night around 9:20-9:30. Prosecution asks if she rememers telling them her daughter called around 10:30, waking her up. Prosecution shows her statement where she did tell police it was 10:30. Ortiz still says 9 - something or going on 10:00.

Translator asks if he can say something; judge tells him just to translate what is being said; not to interject himself into this. Translator asks if they can 'approach' (the bench) ....something attorneys usually ask. Judge says 'no'. Prosecutor asks Ortiz if she called her son when he was in jail. She says he called her. Prosecution asks if she's aware those conversations were recorded. Wanda says yes. Prosecutor asks if she recalls speaking to her son, "NeNe" from jail after defendant was arrested for killing a police officer. Prosecution asks if she recalls saying to her son that she had no idea where Wesley was that night. Ortiz says no. Prosecution asks if it's fair to say that on the night of April 12, 2007, at 9:15 pm she had no idea where Wesley Molina Cirino was. Ortiz says "I don't know-when I went upstairs he was there."

Wanda Ortiz is excused from the stand.

Day Six of Testimony: Defense Calls 1st Witness

Back in court from recess. Defense calls Wanda Ortiz to the stand. An interpreter is sworn in first (to translate for Ortiz). Then she is sworn in with his help. Ortiz is 38 years old and lives on Neilson Street with her two children and her boyfriend. Jose Cirino is her boyfriend. Asked if she speaks any English, she replies, "a little". She says she works at HTC (Human Technologies). In April of 2007, she was working at Divine Brothers--the 6:30 am - 2:30 pm shift. She says she is familiar with defendant Wesley Molina Cirino and points him out in the courtroom.

She says she knows Molina Cirino because he is a cousin to the man she lives with (Jose Cirino). Defense draws her attention to the day Officer Lindsey was killed. She worked her regular shift and got out at 2:30pm. Her kids were home when she got there after work. So were defendant Wesley Molina Cirino and Jose Cirino. At some point that night, she went to her bedroom (around 6pm). Everyone was still at her house. She watched a Spanish soap opera. At some point, she came back downstairs from her bedroom. It was after her daughter called her--which was around nine or ten o'clock. After that, she came out of her room to see if her kids were still there. Her daughter had asked her if she was aware that police were outside.

She went outside to see what was going on. She saw many police officers. After the phone call from her daughter, Wesley Molina Cirino went upstairs and was looking out a window. Ortiz says defendant was in her house when she came downstairs after her daughter called her; says he and others were playing play station when she went upstairs. She did not see "Majon". Says Wesley was wearing a brown shirt with some designer on it that night. Says he always wore it. (Note: several witnesses have testified that a man fleeing from the murder scene minutes after Officer Lindsey was shot was wearing a white hoodie). Defense shows her a brown hoodie and asks her if if was what defendant was wearing that night. She says it looks like what it was wearing that night.

Day Six of Testimony: :10 Minute Break, then Defense Presents Their Case

Defense asks for charges to be dismissed because the prosecution has failed to prove a 'prima facia' case. This is very common and is done at the end of proof in most criminal trials. The judge denies the motion. Back in 10 minutes for any defense witnesses.

Day Six of Testimony: The People Rest

Defense is done with Investigator Serrano. Prosecution now questioning investigator once more. Prosecutor Michael Coluzza asks if, on May 14th interview, defendant had good knowledge of streets where officer Lindsey was killed. Investigator says yes. Prosecutor asks if suspects often offer fingerprints, dna and to take lie detector tests. Serrano says yes. (Earlier, defense brought out that defendant offered all these things to police during interview).

Investigator Serrano is finished testifying. The people (prosecution) have no other witnesses. Now, a few housekeeping matters; the prosecution is offering certain exhibits into evidence--including Officer Lindsey's service weapon. No objection so far from the defense. The people rest. The judge asks the jury to step aside for 10 minutes while he takes care of some matters with the attorneys. Don't know yet if defense will present any witnesses they might have today, or if the judge will reconvene tomorrow for this.

Day Six of Testimony:

The videotaped interview of defendant Wesley Molina Cirino has been playing on courtroom monitors for several minutes, uninterrupted. Some courtroom observers are closing their eyes for extended periods of time. Defense asks a few questions of Serrano, then asks for a video clip of the interview by police of Molina Cirino in June of '07 at UPD to continue. Defense asks if, during that interview, police asked defendant to describe what he was wearing the night of April 12th. Serrano, from the stand, says he doesn't remember. An investigator in the video tells defendant that Sammy hasn't changed his story, and who's going to believe him over Sammy, who had a baby in his car at the time this allegedly went down? Serrano says he also said something to defendant about who would believe him over Sammy when he keeps changing his story and Sammy's remains consistent.

The videotaped interview conducted at UPD continues, and Spanish voices rise in volume in the interview room. Defense asks if defendant gets aggitated when investigators bring up his brother and his mother. Investigator Serrano says 'oh, yeah'. Defense asks if, about four and a half hours into the interview, police had told defendant that Sammy fingered him as the shooter. Serrano says yes. Defense asks if defendant says, 'you've got the wrong guy--it's Mojon' (Jose Cirino).

Day Six of Testimony: Back From Lunch on Tuesday

Lunch break is over; defense attorney Rebecca Wittman is questioning NYS Police Investigator Samuel Serrano. She asks to play a video clip from a questioning session of defendant Wesley Molina Cirino by police in Onondaga County. Before lunch, under questioning by Wittman, investigator Serrano said that Molina Cirino had said around 100 times that he "didn't do it".

Wittman asks Serrano if there was any confusion in his mind whether defendant had seen the gun he refers to on more than one date. Serrano says no confusion--he saw the gun. Serrano says that, in the interview clip we just saw, that the defendant says he saw it only once-on April 12-the day Officer Lindsey was killed.

Amidst the Spanish-English translations happening in the video clip of the interview of the defendant by police in Onondaga County, we hear someone say, in English, "Jose said 'I killed the officer'". Sounds as though it was an officer translating what defendant had just said.

Wittman asks Serrano if, during that interview in May, defendant refers to having seen the gun on April 9th--three days before Officer Lindsey was killed. Serrano says yes. Defense asks for another clip from videotaped interview to be played in court-this one from a subsequent interview that took place in June of 2007. The only language being spoken is Spanish. Occasionally you will hear the name of a street in Utica. We hear someone say that Sammy gave the officer i.d. and the officer went back to the computer to check it--presumably an investigator translating what Molina Cirino has just said. Interview taped in Onondaga County is on. Jurors have the benefit of having their own monitors on which they can see closed-captioning of the entire questioning session. For everyone else in the courtroom, the words and letters are too small to make out. The people in the gallery are left with a largely Spanish questioning peppered with an English word or two here and there. In other words--the rest of us have no idea what's being said.

Day Six: Did Flaco Seek A Break

Serrano says that Flaco told him several times that he wanted to "go down stairs" or to the Oneida County Jail. Serrano did not take a break or think that is what was intended.

Serrano is asked about things being said referring to Flaco being charged in connection to a "conspiracy" involving Indio, Jose and Rivera and a plan to kill a "black guy".

Judge Donalty takes a lunch break. Court is back in session at 2PM.

Day Six: Building Up To Playing a Tape

Wittman has a few questions building up to her recording of the interview of Flaco on June 6th.

Serrano says that Flaco told him at least twice, may be more, that Serrano's questioning was confusing him.

Serrano says that Flaco told him over 100 times that he didn't shoot Lindsey. Flaco also kept asking for his finger prints to be taken to prove his innocence.

Flaco asked to take a polygraph. Serrano says the request was made more than once. No polygraph was given by Flaco. Others, like Rivera, were given a polygraph.

Serrano suggested to Flaco that they had Indio. This information did not shake Flaco about his story.

Day Six: Technical Questions

Serrano is shown the Merranda Rights Form given Flaco on June 6th. The form is in spanish. Serrano says that he read the form to Flaco in spanish.

A lot of time is spent of how the rights were presented to Flaco at the June 6th meeting. Defense attorney Wittman goes over the question of the rights about the right to an attorney. Serrano says that it should be recorded and he translated that segment of the recording word for word. Serrano says that Flaco did not ask about an attorney. Serrano says that Flaco was read the form and signed it.

Wittman questions Serrano about his interrogation technique. Wittman asked if Serrano felt he and Flaco were friendly. Serrano says that they weren't friends, but he did try to develop a relationship with them.

Day Six: Cross Examination Begins

Serrano asks Serrano about his preparation before interviewing Flaco in Syracuse. Serrano says he didn't think Flaco was not being truthful in the May 14th interview.

On June 1st, Flaco's Syracuse lawyer was not told by Serrano that Flaco was the prime suspect.

There was no converstaion between Serrano and Flaco on the ride to Utica on June 6th. Serrano felt that Flaco had little difficulty understanding Serrano.

Serrano felt that Flaco could handle english is a street sence. But, Serrano thought that Flaco was limited in reading and writing.

Serrano thought Flaco was street smart.

Day Six: Flaco Says He Was Closer

Flaco again demonstates how the shooting wentg and shows the shooter sneaking up, at an angle, on Lindsay's right side.

Flaco now indicates that he was behind the driver's side, to the rear of Lindsay's patrol car.

Lindsay is shown eating during all this. Flaco is asked if he asked for forgiveness and Flaco says "I did it. On that day I did it."

Flaco says Lindsay stopped him twice.

Day Six: How Close Was Flaco To Shooting

Flaco shows police, on a map on the wall at UPD headquarters, where he was at the time of the shooting. The location Flaco gives is south of the shooting, near an old firehouse at the corner of Eagle and Neilson. That is a block away from the shooting.

Flaco says that Jose Cirino was on Mortimer St. before the shooting and that Jose ran behind houses on the east side of Neilson St., came out behind the houses and shot Lindsay. Serrano says that he has stood where Flaco says he was and you cannot see into the backyards on the east side of Neilson St. Flaco says that Jose Cirino jumped a fence.

Flaco now says that Jose Cirino fired three shots. He had previously said there was only one shot.

Flaco demonstrates to Serrano how the shooter came up on Lindsay's right side and fired. Flaco says that he heard Lindsay talking with Rivera about how Rivera doesn't have a license. This is the first time that Flaco says he heard a conversation between Lindsay and Rivera. This presents a problem between where Flaco says he was and where he would have been in order to have heard this.

Flaco has now changes his location from two blocks away, to one block away, to in the same block, to a few car lengths away on the east side of the street.

Day Six: More Differences

There are differences between what and where Flaco says he was and what others he cites were involved. Officers tell him that the others Flaco cites told police other times that can't work with what Flaco says happened.

Flaco tries to deflect their testimony by challenging the character of the others.

Flaco denies ever talking about the shooting with inmates in jail.

Flaco says that he saw the shooter of Lindsay fire only once. Flaco is challenged on how close he was to the shooting.

Flaco was asked by police about his relationshio with Sammy Rivera. Flaco says he had a falling out with Rivera. It was over Naomi Diaz, with whom Flaco has a relationship with at one time.

Day Six: Flaco's Changing Story

Flaco tells police that he was standing on Neilson St. at time of the shooting and that he saw Lindsay using his computer in the patrol car.

Flaco says that, after the shooting, he went to Wanda's house...different from his earlier statements.

Flaco tells Serrano that he knew Lindsay. That Lindsay has stopped Flaco several times.

Police challenged Flaco on the timeline he set for the events the day of the shooting. Time differences between what and where Flaco says he was are pointed out to him during the interrogation.

Day Six of Testimony: Defendant's Story Grows, Changes

Investigator says the defendant is referencing a plan, with Jose Cirino, Indio and Sammy Rivera being the players. Voices in interview room at UPD are getting loud. Serrano says defendant is providing new information. Prosecutor asks if Serrano and defendant and other investigator used a map on wall in interview room. Serrano says yes--defendant used the map to point out where he, Officer Lindsey, Sammy and others were standing at the time of the shooting.

Morning recess--10 minute break.

Day Six of Testimony: June 6, 2007 Interview of Defendant

Serrano says he gave Wesley Molina Cirino a ride from Onondaga County to Utica with other investigators present in the car. Went to interview room at Utica Police Department. Segment recorded 1:50 PM June 6 is played. Now, at UPD, video is black and white. It was in color when recorded at Onondaga County. Defendant Molina Cirino is looking at photos on the wall--pictures of different people who'd been interviewed in the course of the investigation. Before interview, Serrano advised defendant of his miranda rights from a card where the rights are written. He advises him in Spanish.

Segment from 2:06pm played. It was recorded from a greater distance than the Onondaga County interview; everyone looks smaller. It's also a bit harder to understand (sound quality perhaps not as good) but the closed-captioning is at the bottom of the screen. Serrano says defendant had very limited ability to read and write Spanish. Serrano asked if defendant wanted to speak to an attorney before police started interviewing him. Defendant said 'no' and Serrano had him write it in English and Spanish.

Serrano says he asked defendant to talk about where he was the night Officer Lindsey was killed, beginning around dinner time. Defendant says he was at his brother's house (Guillermo Molina) on Seymour Ave. Says others were there. Defendant says he ate and then went to Square and Neilson Streets in Utica. Says he went to Neilson street around 5:30pm. Defendant places himself at brother's then Wanda's then Mary Alice's house. Defendant describes encounter with "Indio" when coming down Mary Alice's stairs.

Serrano says defendant's account of where he went after leaving "Mojon" differed from what he'd said before. Serrano acknowledges becoming more 'accusatory' during a point in this interview. Investigator - possibly Serrano--walks around to defendant, leaning in close, asking him to tell what happend and to tell the truth. Defendant seems upset; investigator asks if he wants some water. This is first time in police interviews that Molina Cirino put himself at the murder scene instead of only relaying the accounts he claims others told him about it.

Day Six of Testimony: Defendant talks about night officer killed

Prosecutor asks Serrano if street names came up in this interview. Serrano says yes and prosecution asks for another segment of the dvd to be played for the jury. We hear the names "Mojon" ("Ma-hone"), Mario, Flaco (defendant's nickname), Jose, and others. In that interview defendant identified Mario Cirino as "Mojon" and "Flaco" as himself.

Now to the part of the interview where what happened to Officer Lindsey is discussed. Defendant says that, according to Indio, Jose was wearing a white hoodie the night the officer was killed. Dark windpants, too. Several witnesses have testified about seeing someone in a white hoodie and dark jeans running from the scene shortly after Officer Lindsey was killed. In interview, defendant told police he was on his way home at one in the morning when he learned of all this.

Prosecution asks Serrano who else is a source of defendant's info; Serrano says Jose. Prosecutor stops dvd and asks if a new source of knowledge came up in the interview. Serrano says defendant said he ran into Indio while Indio was on his cell phone talking to Jose, who was talking about the murder and where he put the gun used in the crime. During the interview with police, Wesley Molina Cirino often leans forward in his chair and gestures with his hands even though his wrists are shackled. In the video, an officer asks Serrano to translate "did Jose say anything else besides 'I killed the officer'." Molina Cirino seems to gesture a negative response, shaking his head 'no' .

Serrano says defendant at one point brought other people into the picture: Sammy Rivera. Molina Cirino indicates the men he's mentioned had planned the officer's murder. That night, Molina Cirino said he came from Loiza, Puerto Rico. It's an impoverished city where more than half the population lives below poverty level and the average income for men and women is around $15,000 annually.

Now to the part of the interview where Molina Cirino talks about where he was after the shooting. He says he went to William Sepeda's house to get a ride to Jay Street, where he was staying for the night. Talking about the it dropped into the water (barge canal off North Genesee Street). Serrano says defendant is describing it in first person, showing him physically how gun was dropped, but claiming it's how the men involved described it to him. An investigator can be heard saying something like, "how did he hear it hit the water if he'd already taken off?"

Day Six of Testimony: May 14th Interview of Defendant

Investigator Serrano addresses May 14th, 2007 interview of Wesley Molina Cirino by police in Onondaga County. The prosecution plays the dvd. It's in color and appears to be being recorded from a camera up in the corner of the room. The defendant is in a chair at a big brown table . Investigator Serrano begins by asking the defendant if he's "boricua", meaning Puerto Rican. Serrano tells him he is, too. There is some laughing and joking on the part of everyone in the room.

Prosecution asks Serrano if he asked Molina Cirino how he knew who committed this crime and asks for a certain segment of the dvd to be played. There is closed captioning at the bottom of the screen for the jury but it is too small for courtroom observers to see.

Serrano says that Molina Cirino told him in the interview that "Indio" is his source of information about the night Officer Lindsey was killed. Indio, we heard earlier, is Sammy Rivera's uncle. Rivera is the man Officer Lindsey pulled over minutes before he was shot and killed.

Prosecution asks Investigator to identify where everyone in the interview room is sitting and Serrano does this by pointing to the screen. Serrano is sitting across from the defendant.

Day Six of Testimony: Police Interview Defendant

Investigator has reviewed transcript from police interview with Molina Cirino. Says rolling transcript accurately represents what was spoken in the actual interview and matches dialogue in the videotape of the interview.

June 6th, Serrano again participates in interview with defendant, this time at the Utica Police Department. Again, this interview is videotaped. Serrano identifies a dvd recording of the Utica interview. He acknowledges there are inaudible sections of the recorded interview. He says there are subtitles on the dvd and that the dvd fairly and accurately represents what is said in the interview.

The prosecution wants three dvd recordings of the June 6th interview entered into evidence. Judge receives them into evidence.

Day Six of Testimony: Investigator Serrano

The jury is coming into the courtroom for day six of testimony. The judge points out that the defendant isn't in here and that court personnel need to bring him in first. The judge jokes that his presence is 'kind of necessary'. Defendant Wesley Molina Cirino is now in the courtroom. The jury is filing into their seats as the defendant, prosecution and the defense stand. The judge greets the jury and directs the prosecution to call their next witness, Investigator Samuel Serrano.

Investigator Serrano has been with the State Police since 1993. He is Puerto Rican and speaks Spanish fluently. He says he speaks the Puerto Rican dialect fluently and that he speaks it every day. Investigator Serrano uses the language when dealing undercover with Spanish-speaking drug dealors and has also served as an interpreter in many different scenarios in and out of court.

The day they were "burying Tommy", Serrano says he became involved in the case of the murder of Utica Police Officer Tom Lindsey.

In May of 2007, Serrano went to the Onondaga County Jail to interview Wesley Molina Cirino about the whereabouts of the gun used in the Officer Lindsey homicide. Serrano entered an interview room at the Onondaga County D.A.'s office. Several police officers were there. It was the continuation of an interview that had started earlier in the day. It was videotaped. Serrano was there as a Spanish investigator and to assist in interpreting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day Five: Testimony Ends Early

Judge Donalty ends session for today.

Judge says that the next witness will be NYSP Investigator Serrano. His testimony will include the playing of a composite of his interviews with Flaco. Judge wants to give more time to defense to work on the narative of that testimony.

Judge indicates that he expects the testimony will end Tuesday and summations could be done at that time. The jury could get the case by Wednesday.

Day Five: Why Flaco Was Arrested

On June 6th, at UPD, Flaco asked Kopek to go to lock up or Oneida Countgy Jail. Kopek says that Flaco asked several times, but the questioning went on.

Kopek says that he did not arrest Rivera for impersonation. Kopek is shown paperwork of arrest of Rivera for impersonation and felony drug charges. Kopek signed the paperwork.

In rebuttal, ADA Lisi asks if the paperwork shown him as evidence indicatdes that the charges were drawn up but never filed. Rivera was never charged.

Kopek is asked who first talked about the black car at the shooting. Kopek says that it came from a person on Neilson St. and not Rivera.

Kopek also is asked about if he takes despositions from everyoned they talk with. Kopek says no.

Kopek steps down.

Day Five: The White Vehicle Is Found

Kopek says that, when checking the flight plans of Jose Cirino, Kopek says they found the white vehicle. He says that they also spoke with the driver of that vehicle.

Kopek says that on April 17th, Flaco was not a person of interest in the Lindsay case. Kopek says that he did not know Syracuse authorities were told Flaco was a person of interest. Kopek says he was not a person of interest, but an associate of Rivera who needed to be spoken with.

Flaco became the prime suspect May 14th because of the info, inconsistency and details of his story.

Day Five: Kopek's First Interview With Rivera

Kopek talks about the interview with Rivera the night of the shooting. Rivera was telling about the traffic stop. After about 15 minutes, Kopek learned Lindsay died.

Kopek says that neither he nor Longo beat Rivera.

Kopek says that in the photos taken from the Diaz-Rivera residence, every person was ID'd except that the person Rivera said was Mahoon was actually Jose Cirino.

Mario Siera was a person who was arrested on April 12th and that a search warrant was obtained for Siera's residence.

Question is made if people in a photo from Diaz are giving gang signs. Kopek says that they may be gang signs, one of them from the Latin Kings.

Day Five: Kopek Questioned About ID of Flaco

Wittman asks why Kopek did not write in his notes about Rivera's ID of Flaco as shooter.

Kopek says that he was mistaken when he gave a date of when Rivera first talked about the black car. Kopek also says that the words Wesley Molina-Cirino dose not appear in his notes.

Kopek says he said nothing to Rivera when he drove Rivera to UPD the night of the shooting.

Day Five: Flaco Is Arrested

Molina-Cirino was arrested at the end of the interview.

Kopek says that the phone Rivera had the night of the shooting was taken.

Kopek says that the idea of a black vehicle associated with the shooting came up very early in the investigation.

Wittman cross exam starts with question on Kopek not being involved in taking the first statement of Rivera.

Kopek was not at second Rivera interview when Rivera ID the shooter. Kopek says that he did not meet with Rivera for two weeks after returning to Utica. It was at that meeting that Rivera first spoke of the black car. Rivera said there four people in the black car. Rivera IDs two of the occupants as Wesley Molina-Cirino and Luis Montos.

Kopek says that Rivera saw the car at least five times the day of the shooting. Kopek did not take a deposition from Rivera about the black car and its occupants.

Day Five: Kopek Interviews Rivera

Kopek got a call from Syracuse authorities to go to Syracuse for a meeting to interview Flaco. The request was made by the Onondaga DA office based on a request from Flaco.

Kopek met with Flaco and listened to Flaco's story. Trooper Serrano and interpretor Ramos did the questioning in spanish.

Flaco was giving info with his attorney present. No promises or understanding was made with Molina-Cirino. Kopek asked if they could meet with Flaco again and could they bring him to the site where the gun was supposed to be. That happened at a later date.

After May 14th, Flaco became the prime suspect.

On June 1st, Kopek met with Flaco at that time. They met for about an hour. Kopek said he wanted to get Flaco's story on paper. The lawyer said OK.

Kopek says they knew that Flaco was going to be released on the drug charges on June 6th. Molina-Cirino was taken back to Utica to talk with him more about the case.

They came straight back to UPD and brought him to an interview room. They room was equiped to record the interview. The room contained a large amount of evidence. The interview lasted five and a half hours.

Day Five: Kopek Was Lead On Lindsay Case

Kopek was assigned to be the lead investigatorf in the murder case of Lindsay. Kopek says there were 900 or so leads. UPD was not only agency working the case. State, local, county and federal invesigators were working it.

Kopek went to Puerto Rico looking for the person known as Mahoon, Natale Gonzalez. After speaking with him, they determined that the person in the photo they brought from Utica was not Gonzalez, but it was Jose Cirino. The two did look alike. They did find Jose Cirino and questioned him over two days. Records showed that Jose Cikrino was supposed to go to Puerto Rico April 12th, the day Lindsay was killed.

Prior to leaving Puerto Rico, Kopek was told Rivedra identified a shooter. Arround May 2nd, Kopek and Trooper Fallon questioned Rivera. They began to work on a case arround Flaco, Molina-Cirino.

Day Five: Robert Kopek Testifies

Robert Kopek is an investigator, Officer Cormotto, at UPD. He was working on the day Lindsay was shot. Kopek was at headquarters training a new investiagtor when he heard radio call for officer down. While enroute, Kopek heard call about suspect car stopped on John St. Kopek and his partner, the trainee, were the second car on the scene on John St.

Kopek says he heard Sammy Rivera say, "A guy in a white hoodie shot the cop." Kopek says that Rivera said that twice.

Kopek checked the interior of the car. He saw a child in a safety seat behind the driver seat. Kopek thought the child was dead. He checked on the child and saw that he was OK.

Kopek noticed that there was blood and brain matter on the drivers side of the red Neon car.

Kopek took Rivera to UPD headquarters. Rivera was brought to an interview room in the CID area at UPD.

Kopek says there was no conversation with Rivera in the ride back to UPD. Kopek and Investigator Longo questioned Rivera.

Kopek says that he worked closely with Lindsay.

Kopek says that Cormotto told him that Lindsay had passed away. Kopek returned to the interogation room with Longo and Rivera. Kopek says he was very upset and left the room to get himself calmed down.

Kopek moved on to get away from Rivera and joined Naomi Diaz in another room. He asked her about acquiantances of Rivera. She gave Kopek two named Wesley Molina-Cirino and a person named Mahoon.

Diaz gave permission to return to her house to get photos of these people. They got the photos.

Kopek says that the photos remined him of a traffic stop in Utica in August 2006. Kopek backed up a traffic stop and the occupants of that car were Wesley Molina-Cirino, Jose Cirino Aiella, the man accused by Flaco to be the shooter. Also in the car was Jose Cirino, the cousin of Molina-Cirino and another person.

Day Five: Recording Ends

Flaco says that the only people he knows know about the shooting are Jose, Sammy and Indio. When questioned about who else theses guys may have told about the shooting, Flaco says Jose hung out with blacks and he, Flaco, doesn't get along with blacks.

Wittman has no follow up questions. Court adjourns until 2:15PM.

Day Five: Break In Recorded Meeting

Flaco says he never handled the gun used to kill Lindsay. A few of the investigators leave the meeting.

Flaco repeats about not wanting his name to come out because he'd get in trouble.

Day Five: Flaco Talks About Lindsay

Flaco says he recognized Jose's voice on the speaker phone.

Flaco says that Lindsay had arrested him in 2001. He says Lindsay was a good person.

Flaco says he was at his house,talking with a cousin on the phone. The cousin told him he was on the street and there were plenty of cops out.

Flaco says that Indio told him about the shooting of the cop. Flaco says that Indio was a lookout for police at the time of the shooting. Flaco says the police officer had Rivera's son in his arms.

Flaco says that Lindsay got back in his car and Jose came up and shot him in the back.

Flaco says that Lindsay didn't get into problems with anybody. Flaco says he told UPD that Lindsay was a good guy. UPD picked up Flack on April 17th on an outstanding warrant. Flaco says he didn't tell UPD everything at that time because he was scared.

Flaco says that Jose Cirino was wearing a white hoodie.

Day Five: More Flaco and Indio

Flaco says he ran into Indio on James St., near Seymour. They were talking and about things and that's when Indio told him about the cop situation. Flaco says he told Indio that's your problem.

Flaco talks about the "river" where the gun was tossed. Flaco says that the water is wide and Flaco says the big boats go there. Sounds more like the Barge Canal instead of the Mohawk River.

Flaco says that while talking with Indio on James and Jose called Indio. Indio spoke with Jose on speakerphone and Flaco listened in. Flaco says that Jose told Indio that he threw the gun away and went to Puerto Rico.

Flaco says Jose stopped on the bridge and threw the gun away.

Day Five: Flaco Talks About Indio

Flaco says that Indio was in Utica police custody and didn't want to talk. Indio had told Flaco that Jose was leaving. flaco then retells the story about saying good bye to Jose. Flaco says that Indio told him that Jose killed Lindsay.

Flaco says that Indio was on the corner and Jose was running towards him. Indio was watching for police. Flaco says Indio told him that Jose "hit the officer" then he ran away and they got in a car and left.

Day Five: Flaco Talks About Gun Location

Flaco says that he can't describe where the gun is...he can show them. Flaco says the gun was in a bag and the bag was tied. He saw this at 1 o'clock in the early morning. Jose was in a white Nissan, belonging to Jose's girlfriend.

They were in Utica at Dudley and Arthur in Cornhill. Jose told Flaco he was leaving. flaco wsent to shake his hand and Jose said, "Look what I have here. I'm going to get rid of it." And then Jose left.

Day Five: More Recording

Flaco says he was at a cousin Maria's house on Dudley Ave. Flaco says it was near Square St. The Syracuse investigators are not familiar with the Utica Streets.

Flaco says he saw the gun on the day after Lindsay was shot. Jose had the gun. Jose showed him the gun, told him he was going to get rid of and and then leave for the airport to go to Puerto Rico. Flaco says Jose and his girlfriend wnet to Puerto Rico.

How did Flaco know Jose Cirino shot Lindsay...becaused Indio told him. Flaco says Sammy and Indio don't want to talk about the shooting.

It is hard to keep track of whick Jose's Flaco is talking about. Investigators are confused.

Day Five: More From Recording

Flaco describes the girl who was with Jose Cirino. Flaco says hed dfidn''t speak with Jose very much. He would go by the house to see flaco's girlfriend. Flaco says that it was a crack house.

Flaco is asked how he knows where the gun was thrown. Flaco says becaused Jose told him. Flaco says he knows where it is and he can show them. Flaco says that he wasn't there when the gun was tossed. He says that he was with Sammy Rivera's uncle Indio.

Flaco says Jose told him that he was going to buy a pistol. Flaco says thhat he didn't want to kn ow about it. Flaco didn't know where he bought the gun, but he knows he had it. He says he saw the gun about two times and Jose always had it on him.

Flaco says he doesn't want his name to come out because people in Utica will kill him.

Day Five: The Full Meeting

The Syracuse investigators do not have a good understanding of the North Genesee St. location Flaco is saying is where the gun was tossed.

Flaco says he doesn't want his name to come out in this. He would have a big problem.

Flaco says he found out about all this after "they killed the police officer." Flaco says that the "they" he refers to are Jose Cirino and Sammy Rivera.

Interpreter Ramos says that tghe Jose Cirino in volved in the Lindsay shooting is not the same Jose Cirino involved with him in the Syracuse drug deal.

It is quite confusing over if the Jose Cirino in Utica is a cousin or not. The Jose from Syracuse is a cousin and the Jose from Utica is not. The following referenses to Jose Cirino will regard the Jose Cirino Flaco says was involved in the Lindsay mirder.

Flaco says that Jose showed him the gun and that Jose told him he was going to throw the gun away and leave the country. Flaco says that Jose Cirino lived near Nichols and Lansing Streets in Utica.

Day Five: Weidman and Recording Info Cross Examined

After recess reagrding transaltion issues, court resumes. Judge explains that the recordings played by the ADA were selectded portions of the May 14th meeting with Flaco, in Syracuse. Defense attorney Wittman wants the full meeting to take place so that all previously heard snippets can be seen and heard in thedir proper context.

The playing of the recording will take a little more than an hour.

The recording is shown on several screens in the courtroom. The visual part is relatively small. Under is a text, in english, what is being said in the meeting.

This is the first part of the May 14th meeting, before Utica investigators arrived.

Day Five: Flaco Has Two Versions Of Learning About Shooting

Flaco says on the recording that he was on the phone with his cousin Jose the night of the shooting. His cousin told him he was on the street and there were planty of cops.

Flaco then says that his cousin Indio told him aboujt the shooting of Lindsay.

Flaco had earlier said that Jose Cirino and Rivera were involved in the shooting. He later says that when Lindsay took Sammy's ID and returned to the car, Jose shot him.

Flaco says he knew Lindsay because Lindsay had arrested him before.

Prosecution has no more questions of Weidman or recording to play. Wittman to cross examine, but asks to go to bench first. Judge calls for short recess.

Day Five: Flaco Changes Story

Flaco says he got the shooting info from his cousin Jose, which is different than what Flaco said before. Flaco says hed told Jose that Jose's involvement in the Lindsay shooting was Jose's problem and not his problem.

Flaco says that Jose told him that he was wearing a white hoodie and had his face covered.

Regarding Flaco getting info from Indio, Flaco says he met with Indio at Seymour Ave and james St the day after Lindsay was shot. He ran into Indio and they were talking. Flaco says that Indio talked about the murder and Flaco says that that is their problem.

Flaco says that Jose spoke with Indio by phone on Saturday. Jose called Indio and Flaco was listening on the speaker phone. Jose says on the phone that he threw the gun in the river and he was going to Puerto Rico.

Investigators question Flaco about the difference between the earlier story of Jose Cirino showing Flaco the gun and the story with Indio. Flaco says that the girl was driving the white Nissan and they stopped and tossed the gun.

Day Five: Flaco Says Cousin Dumped Gun

On recording, Flaco says that Jose Cirino told him he was going to dump the gun in the river and then left for the airport.

NOTE - this part of the May 14th meeting is before the Utica investigators arrived in Syracuse.

Flaco says that the gun was in a white Nissan that belonged to a girlfreind of Jose. It all took place late in the morning after Liondsay was killed. The meeting between Flaco and Jose took place at Dudley and Arthur Streets. Flaco said that he shook Jose's hand and Jose showed him the gun, said he was going to get rid of it and go to Puerto Rico.

Flaco says that Jose Cirino and Sam Rivera were the people involved in the murder of Lindsay. Flaco says that he learned about his cousin and Rivera's involvement from Flaco's other cousin, Indio.

Day Five: Recording Of Meeting Is Played

Recording of the meeting held on May 14, 2007, in Syracuse is played. Flaco is there with defense attorney Keller and interprerter Ramos. There are subtitles posted on the recording.

Flaco says he is wiling to give information regarding where the gun is. Molinia-Cirino says the gun is in "the river" It was thrown in the river under ther bridge. He says that the guns was thrown there by his cousin. Flaco says he was told by the person who took him to the site. Flaco says he told them that was their problem.

Flaco speaks in english about the location.

Flaco was asked if he ever actually saw the gun. Hed said yes, it was in a leather bag. He says his cousin Jose Cirino told him he was going to the river to throw the gun away. Jose Cirino left for Puerto Rico the following Saturday. Flaco says that a girl drove Jose Cirino to dispose of the gun.

How did Flaco know where the gun was tossed. Flaco says that Jose Cirino told him. Flaco says that he wasn't there when the gun was tossed.

Flaco described the gun as a 44 magnum. It was a big gun, black in color. Flaco said the gun had a rubbber grip. Flaco says he saw the gun at least twso times before and that Jose Cirino always had it on him.

Flaco says he was shown the gun on April 13th.

Day Five: Meeting With Molina-Cirino Is Recorded

June 6, 2007, Flaco was released from Syracuse authorities. Flaco was met by Serrano and otherf invesitagors and taken back to Utica.

Weidman identifies recording on DVD and computer hard drive of the meeting held with Molina-Cirino. Thoses recordings are entered as evidence. Judge calls ADA Lisi and defense attorney Wittman to bench. This is a long conference in which Judge Donalty is listening. Wittman in forcefull in her gestures regarding issues related to the playing of the recordings. Bench meeting ends.

Judge accepts recordings for limitged use. The DVDs contain the full meeting before and after the arrival of Utica invesigators. The third recording is a "compilation" from the meeting to highlight areas the DA wants to focus on. Judges says that the jury will have access to full meeting recording at a later date.

Because Wittman has transcript of full meeting and not the condensed version to be presented, Judge calls for a break so all can get on same page.

Day Five: Note On Serrano

Point of clarification, Invesigator Sam Serrano is a State Police invesigator. He lead the interrogation of Flaco, speaking in spanish.

Day Five: Stan Weidman Takes Stand

Stanley Weidman is a Senior Invesitigator at Onondaga County DA office. Was State Police invesiogator before that. May 14, 2007, Weidman took part in meeting with Molina-Cirino. Keller wanted it on the record, before the meeting, if info from Molina-Cirino gave useful information Onondaga DAs would not seek larger drug charges against Flaco.

Weidman says that Flaco would sometimes answer questions in broken english or begin before full intrepretation.

Day Five: Where's The Gun

Ramos says the meeting was at area near Mohawk River, not canal, near Denny's on North Genesee St.

Another meeting helf in June to go over what Flaco would do after Syracuse drug case was resolved. It was agreed that Flaco would return to Utica to continue to work with investigation of Lindsay case.

Ramos says that there were a few times when a simple question was asked in English and Flaco would begin to answer before interpretation.

No cross examination.

Day Five: Utica Police Join Meeting

Two Utica invesigators, Serrano and Kopec, arrive to join the meeting. Officer Serrano takes the lead in questioning Flaco. Serrano questions Flaco in spanish. Ramos says that it was accurate spanish being spoken.

Ramos says that Flaco did not ask to stop the questioning.

Ramos met with Molina-Cirino's Syracuse lawyer, Mr. Keller, in Utica at the area arround the bridge on North Genesee St. over Barge Canal. Flaco was at that meeting to show where Flaco said the gun used to kill Lindsay was disposed.

Day Five: Gabriel Ramos, Jr. On Stand

Mr. Ramos is a private invesigator. He has a business in Syracuse. Part of his business includes interprertation for defense attorneys in Syracuse. He was hired by Falco's lawyer in Syracuse when he was facing Onondaga County drug charges. ADA Colluza goes over Ramos credentials as a spanish speaking interpreter.

Ramos translated for Falco at meeting regarding Lindsay case. Ramos says that Flaco knew why he was at the meeting, to help Utica investigation in consideration for himself regarding to Syracuse drug charges. Ramos had no trouble understanding Flaco.

Meeting was video taped. There was a lengthy break in the meeting so Utica investigators could join the meeting. The break was at least an hour.

Day Five: Scholl Cross Examined

Scholl says that all questions to Flaco in the meeting went through interpreter. Scholl felt that Flaco had some understan nding of english, would start answers before interpreter finished. Molina-Cirino never answered in english.

Scholl is asked who she talked with to determine Flaco's level cooperation with Utica investigation. Scholl says she didn't speak with anyone, but knew he was working with Utica investigation. So, she gave him break in sentencing.

Day Five: Trial Resumes

Bridget Scholl is first witness. She is an ADA in Onondaga County, handling drug cases. She handled a felony drug case in Onondaga county in which Flaco and Jose Cirino were charged. April 2007 she was contactd by Federal Marshals related to Molina-Cirino. 4/18, Molina-Cirino was arraigned on his charges in Syracuse. Scholl knew that Molina-Cirino was a person of interest in the Lindsay case. A plea offer had been made to Molina-Cirino and rejected. At a later date Flaco's lawyer told Scholl that Flaco had information about the gun used to kill Lindsay, would the ADA be interested. Scholl said yes and a meeting was set. 5/14, a meeting was held involving authorities and Flaco.

Issues related to Flaco's understanding of english are addressed and Scholl indicates that Flaco has some understanding of english. Utica Police arrived to continue the meeting.

Flaco was sentenced on the felony drug charge and given time served. Scholl says consideration was given for his cooperation with the Lindsay investigation.

Judge instructs jury not to use the guilty plea on the drug charges in Syracuse in consideration of this case. It was allowed only to provide a timeline for Scholl's testimony.

Day Five: Trial Continues Soon

Judge Donalty disposes of other court business before the Molina-Cirino trial resumes. Better than a dozen uniformed Utica Police officers are in the courtroom. Chief Pylman here as well. ADA Colluzza enters. Defense attorney Wittman was here representing other clients before Judge Donalty before this trial begins.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day Four: Next Witness--James Bell

Witness James Bell, like many before him in this case, wears a blaze-orange prison jumpsuit. Bell is 32 years old, in jail on federal conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine charges. He is serving 14 and a half years in prison. He has not been promised anything in exchange for his testimony. He is awaiting his sentencing. He entered Oneida County Jail in May of last year. He came to know "Flaco" while at OCJ. Bell was in a special unit for disciplinary cases at the jail in June when he came into contact with "Flaco", who was already there.

Bell had an argument with "Flaco". Bell's brother is a police officer at UPD and he was talking to another inmate about him when "Flaco" said "(expletive) all police". Bell was saying he was proud of his brother. "Flaco" was ranting and raving about how he hated police and had killed police in Puerto Rico. The two argued for an hour. Bell told "Flaco" what he'd do to him if he caught him outside his cell. A correction officer had to put an end to the argument. After that, Bell and "Flaco" stayed away from each other.

Late November, Bell went back to the special unit. There, he saw "Flaco" again. Bell cleaned during the day. Bell provoked "Flaco", calling him names. "Flaco" began raving about how he's murdered before and would do it again. Claims "Flaco" had a trick where he'd pretend he was being asked for his license and he'd say, 'here's my license, 'bam bam bam!' as though he was pulling a gun. Bell says "Flaco" told another prisoner he'd killed the cop. Bell identifies defendant Wesley Molina Cirino as "Flaco".

Defense now questioning James Bell. Asks when Bell first contacted authorities to tell them he had information. He says he didn't; that someone else in the unit overheard the conversation and gave police his name. Police just came to see him March 8th.

Bell says his sentencing guidelines put him at 14 and a half years. He acknowledges that, at Federal Court, cooperation with authorities can make a difference. He will be sentenced in three and a half weeks. Defense asks if all these conversations he's talking about today that he had with "Flaco" were in English or Spanish. Bell says 'English--he speaks good English'. He says no one should be targeted because of the line of work they're in-they shouldn't be executed, no. Defense asks if he's not happy with anyone who shoots a police officer because his brother is a police officer. He says no. Testimony is finished. The judge reminds the jury to keep an open mind and not to discuss the case with anyone or visit any places related to the case. He also asks them not to listen to, read or view any media accounts of the trial. Court is in recess until Monday.

Day Four: Officer Lindsey Pulled Over Next Witness

Inmate Mario Cirino Sierra is sworn in with the help of a translator and takes the witness stand. He is 20 years old. He was arrested in January of this year on a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree-a felony. He says he has not been offered anything from the D.A.'s office in exchange for his testimony. But the prosecutor points out he has been offered a plea to a misdemeanor charge instead and this refreshes Sierra's recollection. He acknowledges the deal. He says he was convicted in October, 2007, of resisting arrest-a misdemeanor. He says he is from Puerto Rico.

Sierra says he is a cousin of defendant Wesley Molina Cirino. He says he knew the defendant from back in Puerto Rico. He says his street name is "Flaco", which means "thin". He says "Flaco" came to the U.S. around the year 2000 or 2001. Sierra says he was in jail on April 12, 2007. He was released May 25th and went back to Utica, living on Howard Ave. He heard "Flaco" was in jail in Syracuse. He never visited him there.

In June of 2007, Sierra learned "Flaco" was arrested in this case. Sierra was arrested again, housed at the Oneida County Jail. He signed a document to be moved near the defendant in jail. The two were in cells near each other in "B" block. At a time their cells were side by side. They would talk to each other every day. February 12, 2008, he had a conversation with defendant, "Flaco". "Flaco" asked Sierra, when his lawyer went to visit, to say it was not "Flaco", but "Majon" who killed the police officer. Asked if he had any direct knowledge of the death of Officer Lindsey, Sierra says, "No". Says he had no direct knowledge that "Majon" did the shooting. Sierra identifies the defendant as the person he's been calling "Flaco". Prosecution is done with Sierra.

Defense attorney asks if Sierra knew she wanted to talk to him. Sierra says Wesley told him.
He admits he has no knowledge of what happened April 12 because he was in jail. Wittman asks if Wesley told him he'd seen "Majon" with a .44 and he wanted you to tell someone about it. He says yes. He says Wesley told him he wanted him to tell Wittman he saw "Majon" with a .44. She asks if he and Wesley had a fight in jail over playing music at night. Sierra says 'yes'. Sierra says he never had a driver's license. She asks if he was pulled over by Officer Lindsey for not signaling a turn. He says yes and that he did not have a license. She asks if Officer Lindsey pulled him over on Neilson Street. He says no-Arthur and Howard. Sierra got out of the car when the officer pulled him over. The officer grabbed his pistol and told him to freeze and get back in the car. The officer asked if he had a license and he said no and the officer searched his car and found drugs (not yet specified). Subsequently, Sierra went to jail. Defense asks if he wasn't too happy with Officer Lindsey after this happened. Sierra says, "he was lucky to have stopped me-I could not to anything. She asks the happy question again. Not very happy about going to jail. He says, 'the same day they arrested me they let me go'. She asks if it's because he talked to police about what happened. He says he skipped a court date for this in September. He says Officer Lindsey asked his woman during the stop, "why I'm running away from him" and that other officers grabbed him. He says it was August of 2006 when the officer stopped him. He wound up charged with felonies. He talked to police. After that they let him go and told him to report back for court; he didn't. He recalls Officer Lindsey chasing him in cornhill. Officer Lindsey went into a house to find him. He was hiding outside; the officer didn't find him. Ultimately, Sierra was arrested for not going to court--not by Officer Lindsey. In January of this year, Sierra arrested again, for a felony.

Sierra says it was more of a discussion than fight over music at the jail. He admits to defense that during the fight, he told "Flaco" he was going to 'tell them you did that'. Defense says, 'then you got together with the D.A. to say what you had to say to get a misdemeanor'. Sierra says, 'what's a misdemeanor?' She asks him about the sentence he was supposed to get; he says two years for drug possession and violation of probation. Defense asks if he reads and writes English. He says no. Spanish? Yes. Asked if defendant reads and writes Spanish, Sierra replies, "he would know that." Now Sierra says it was in September of 2007 he was picked up by police--earlier he'd said it was October. Defense asks if Sierra was interviewed by police after April 12th. Yes--he says, by a Spanish-speaking officer. Defense asks if Wesley ever told him he should say something about Wesley's case in order to help his own case. "He told me if I said that it would help me with my case-if I told them it was Majon...." Defense asks again if he told him to do it to help his own case. Sierra says no.

Prosecutor with more questions. Asks if Wesley's request to pass on info to lawyers was before or after quarrel about music. Sierra says after the discussion. Heated discussion, prosecution asks....Sierra says no. Sierra says he told Wesley he wouldn't tell police it wasn't him that killed Officer Lindsey. Sierra says he never told any police or D.A.s that Wesley killed Officer Lindsey. Prosecution is done; defense has more questions.

Defense asks if he spoke with a Spanish Utica Police Officer last week. He says yes. She asks if he told police that Wesley told them to give police information so it'd help him with his case. Sierra says yes. He is off the stand. Media were not allowed to tape him, either. Afternoon recess--back in 10 minutes.

Day Four: Cross Examination of "NeNe"

Defense Attorney Rebecca Wittman is cross examining "NeNe". She asks if he got on a chat line the night of April 12, 2007; he did. "Majon" came to "NeNe"'s house as it was getting dark outside. The translator is now assisting "NeNe". Wittman asks if "NeNe" has a recollection of what happened the night of April 12th. He says he remembers most of it. He saw Sammy Rivera outside in the daytime, but can't remember if it was that day or another day. He does remember that Rivera was driving a red Neon with a baby in the back seat. Sammy was there a few minutes.

Doesn't remember what Sammy was wearing at his house that day. "A jacket". Wittman asked if he told police it was a black jacket with skulls. He says yes. Says defendant told him that there were cops outside and he wasn't going out there. "NeNe" thinks he saw defendant at his house the next day. Says he saw him after April 12 two or three times at his house. "NeNe" says he spoke with police the day after Officer Lindsey was killed. They asked how he found out the officer was killed. He told them the defendant had told him. "NeNe" is done. Media were not allowed to record his testimony.

Day Four: Cross Examination of "NeNe"

Defense Attorney Rebecca Wittman is cross examining "NeNe". She asks if he got on a chat line the night of April 12, 2007; he did. "Majon" came to "NeNe"'s house as it was getting dark outside. The translator is now assisting "NeNe". Wittman asks if "NeNe" has a recollection of what happened the night of April 12th. He says he remembers most of it. He saw Sammy Rivera outside in the daytime, but can't remember if it was that day or another day. He does remember that Rivera was driving a red Neon with a baby in the back seat. Sammy was there a few minutes.

Day Four: Back From Lunch

Defendant Wesley Molina Cirino is back in the courtroom. Next witness, Aurelio Pizarro, is on the stand. A Spanish interpreter is at his side in case he needs him. Pizarro is 20 years old. His street name is "NeNe", which he says means "kid". He is the son of Wanda, whom we heard about earlier. "NeNe" knows "Flaco" and says they're not related. He knows "Flaco" from childood--about seven years. "NeNe" knows "Majon" whose name he says is Jose. Doesn't know Jose's last name but says he lives in Puerto Rico. He knows Jose was in Utica last year.

Night of April 12, 2007. "NeNe" saw "Majon" that night. "Majon" came into "NeNe"'s house to play video games. "NeNe" saw defendant "Flaco" that night when it was almost getting dark. There was a time he didn't see "Flaco" for a while then saw him in the dining room of the home. "Flaco" said, "there's cops outside". Both men looked out a window. "NeNe" saw police officers and cars-lots of them. "Flaco" came downstairs and "NeNe" asked him what happened and "Flaco" said a cop was shot. "NeNe" doesn't know how "Flaco" knew that.

"NeNe" says "la Badusca"'s name is Adriana. He saw her outside his house the night of April 12, 2007. After he saw the cops, "NeNe" was talking on the phone with a girl, telling her a cop was shot. "NeNe" stayed in the rest of the night. "Flaco" did not spend that night at "NeNe"'s house. "NeNe" learned "Majon" wanted to go back to Puerto Rico. "NeNe" has identified defendant Wesley Molina Cirino as the person he knows as "Flaco" and who told him a cop was shot that night.

Day Four: Lunch recess taken

A lunch recess is now being taken. More testimony is set to be heard this afternoon.

As I will be at the station all next week, this marks my last blog. I will now be handing the reins over to Joleen, who has very quickly become quite adept at blogging herself.

Thanks to all those who have stayed with us for updates throughout the trial. Stay logged on for more.

Day Four: Lester cross-examined, "300 Billion to 1"

Forensic Scientist Andrea Lester is being cross-examined.

Lester says the probaility of finding anyone else in the population other than Officer Thoms Lindsey having the DNA profile from the piece of evidence (swabbings inside the car door) she tested is 300 billion to 1.

Day Four: More DNA testing

Referring to the cutting from the Orioles Jersey, the DNA did not match any of the "control samples" Lester had samples from. Lester says because it was unknown it got classified as a "John Doe."

Other samples are shown to Lester which came up as "mixtures of two unknown individuals," Lester says. Another sample containing a mixture of Diaz and Rivera's DNA is shown.

Through this testing, it was concluded that Officer Lindsey could be excluded from all of the clothing items of Sammy Rivera's that were tested for DNA.

Day Four: DNA profiles and hyptoheticals

Several columns of blue show that several of the samples were a match for Officer Lindsey (this being the swabs of blood and brain matter found on the car).

Prosecution asks if there was DNA from any other person in those samples of what was found on side of car. Lester says "No."

Sammy Rivera's swab taken from his ear, along with the swabs taken from the Red Bull cans found in the car were taken to find a match with Sammy Rivera's DNA profile, and no one elses.

Lester says that Rivera is the major contributor of DNA on the Red Bull can, with one other person contributing to create a "mixture,' but a very small, trace amount of DNA.

Lester then shows "mixture profiles," which are present whenever there are multiple sources of DNA on a piece of evidence. She says DNA is not difficult to transfer.

Prosecution gives a hyptothetical, asking if having sat at the prosecution table for the past few days, would Lester have found a sample of DNA at the table. Lester says it's possible. Prosecution asks if his co-attorney's DNA would mix with his at the table, hypothetically. Lester says yes.

Day Four: DNA extracted from swab samples

Lester says she was able to extract DNA from the swab samples she was given if Rivera, Diaz, Diaz's son - Luis, and Flaco.

Lester is shown a copy of charts made from her report of the evidence. In her original report, they appeared in black and white, but for the sake of the court, they are colorized. Each person's DNA sample is assigned a different color, for the ease of viewing of the jury.

For the purposes of demonstration, the charts are then admitted into evidence, with no objections from the defense.

Shown to the jury as well as to the court via the large view screen, Lester points out the series of columns on the chart that represent the different locations of the DNA where uniqueness is looked for, along with columns marking the chromosomes X or Y (male or female), and the profiles Lester developed from the controls of each individual in the case.

The column containing Rivera's profile is green, Lindsey's blue, Flaco's purple.

Day Four: Lester shown test sample swabs; had control samples to compare against

Exhibits are shown to Forensic Scientist Andrea Lester which are tissue samples. Lester says the samples were taken from the red Neon. She says, when asked, she believes they came from the driver's side of the car.

Lester is shown some more exhibits, including cuttings from the Baltimore Orioles jersey, the gray Winnie-the-Pooh sweatshirt, and the shoe that was shown to Taneka Warden yesterday.

The swab samples from the cans found in Sammy Rivera's car are also shown to Lester.

In addition to those items of evidence, Lester says they had control samples (a "known sample - they know who it's from) to compare against.

Lester is shown a blood sample of Officer Lindsey, a swab sample from Sammy Rivera, a swab from Naomi Diaz, a swab from Baby Luis, and a swab from Wesley Molina-Cirino (Flaco).

Day Four: "DNA is like a book"

Shown exhibits by the prosecution, Forensic Scientist Andrea Lester identifies them as her two reports and notes generated in this case. She is also showed a list of the chain of evidence in connection to the case.

Once she received evidence items from the secure vault, Lester says that she takes precautions such as wearing gloves, eye glasses, hairnet, and disposable lab coat in order to not mix her DNA with that of the DNA she is testing.

Lester explains DNA as "the blueprint of the body," and the translator, and then the judge ask her to slow down again.

"DNA is like a book. In that book are pages. In those pages are chapters. In those chapters are paragraphs. In looking at those "paragraphs" they're looking for a particular repeat of "words" in the paragraph," Lester says, describing her work.

Prosecution asks if DNA is the same in every cell of the body. She says yes, except red blood cells, which do not contian a nucleus, and thus, don't contain DNA.

Day Four: Forensics Scientist Andrea Lester is called to the stand

Andrea Lester is called to the stand. Lester is currently employed by the NYS Police Forensics Investigation Center as a Forensic Scientist for the past 8 years.

Flaco's translator asks her to slow down for translation. Her background in DNA profiles, analyzation, etc, is laid out by the prosecution. She says has testified in at least 15 court cases across New York State for her expertise in DNA.

Lester explains how materials submitted as evidence are locked in a secure vault that can only be given to the scientists by an evidence technician, and only when the scientist has the proper identification and credentials.

Lester says she was involved in testing of evidence in regards to the shooting death of Officer Lindsey. She tells the court that it was her job to pull DNA from evidence items submitted to her.

Day Four: Jose and Flaco, distant cousins

Jose says he saw Flaco at Jose's uncle's house in the parking lot, describes him as a distant cousin, and says that they started hanging around together.

Defense asks if Jose knew Flaco had outstanding warrants out. Jose can't remember but says he thinks he recalls Flaco saying something about it at some point.

Day Four: Jose describes Indio

Jose is asked if he then went to a Brenda Gonzales' house. Jose says yes. Defense asks if he gave Brenda some clothes to wash. Jose says he can't remember, and when asked by defense if he specifically gave her a blue sweatshirt, Jose says "no," through his translator, that he didn't give Brenda anything.

Brenda is the wife of Mario, mentioned earlier in testimony. Brenda and Mario live on Howard Ave, Jose says. Defense asks if Flaco and Jose went to Brenda and Mario's looking for a ride, but Jose says once again that he can't remember.

Defense asks if Jose say Indio on April 12th. He says that he can't remember. Defense asks what Indio looks like. Jose describes him as dark, short, a little skinnier than Jose.

Day Four: Jose at Wanda's House

Jose says he did not leave with Sammy Rivera, but went back into Wanda's house. Defense asks if Jose rememebrs who else was there when he spoke with Sammy. Jose says he thinks it was NayNay, Wesley, and someone named Julito(sp?)

Defense asks how long Jose thinks Sammy was outside in the red Neon. Jose says a couple of minutes, and then he went back into the house.

Defense asks if Jose has any idea what time on April 12 Sammy was at Wanda's house. Jose says no. Defense mentions that Jose's flight was supposed to be 7 or 7:30, and that Jose was to drive back from Syracuse, then went to Alacron's, then over to Wanda's house, and it was after Jose went to Wanda's that Sammy came over in the Neon.

Jose Cirino says that "after a while, he got there, yes."

Defense asks if the flight he took back to Puerto Rico was a few days after April 12th. Jose says he can't remember, but thinks so. Defense asks what airport Jose left from. Jose says Syracuse, and that he got there. Jose says La Bedusca took him. He admits not knowing the girl very well.

Jose says he belives it was Flaco who called La Bedusca to give Jose a ride to the airport.

Day Four:Jose "can't remember"

Jose Cirino is cross-examined by the defense and asked if he remembers ever telling police that after going to 1309 Neilson Street that he and Flaco played video games for the next few hours. Jose says he "can't remember."

Defense asks if he remembers talking to a Spanish-speaking member of the UPD, giving a statement. Jose says yes. Defense asks if when coming back to Utica from Puerto Rico and while talking to officers, if he went to his cousin, Alacron's first. Jose says yes.

Defense asks again if he remembers telling officers that he was playing playstation with Flaco. Jose says he can't remember, but belives he told the officer that he and Flaco were playing what Jose's translator says is "San Andrea Liberty City Stories."

Defense then asks if Jose said Sammy came to Wanda's house on April 12 while he and Flaco played video games. Jose says he didn't hear the question well. His translator says it again.

"Did Sammy Rivera come to 1309 Neilson Street on April 12th?" Defense asks. Jose says that when he walked outside of Wanda's house he saw Sammy Rivera outside in his car, with a child in the car, and that the child was awake.

Jose says he waved to the baby, and had a conversation with a baby. Defense asks if it was about getting something to eat.

Day Four: Jose Cirino fingers Flaco as shooter

Jose fingers Wesley Molina-Cirino (Flaco) as the shooter of Officer Lindsey.

When asked by prosecution, he says he had nothing to do with the shooting.

Day Four: Jose spoke to officers in U.S. and Puerto Rico

Joleen is preparing for her live shot for the Noon news, so I have resumed blogging.

Jose Cirino is now talking about going to the airport, being brought their by "La Budusca" and going to Puerto Rico. It was while in Puerto Rico that Jose Cirino was talked to by police officers about the death of a police officer in Utica.

Jose says he told them whatever information he had.

Jose says that he came back to the United States because he says police told him he HAD to come back. He DOES say, however, that he came of his own free will, returning to the country with his mother.

He then talked to police officers further about the death of Officer Lindsey and what he knew.

Jose then went back to Puerto Rico after talking with officers, and then again returned to the U.S. at the request of the officers who brought him before. This other time, referring to him currently being in the U.S. was for the sole purpose to testify in this trial.

Day Four: Jose Cirino Gets High

Jose Cirino went to the store from Wanda's house. The police stopped him and asked him for identification and he proceeded to the store. After the store, Jose Cirino went with a friend, "la Badusca' to her house. He'd purchased a cigar to use to smoke marijuana. Cirino and 'la Badusca' went to Wanda's house. "la Badusca" waited outside in the car. Cirino and "la Badusca" went to smoke in the parking lot of her house. Can't remember if the defendant was at the house.

Day Four:Jose Cirino Misses His Flight

Jose Cirino was scheduled to leave the U.S. to return to Puerto Rico April 12th, 2007--the day Officer Lindsey was killed. He left for the airport around 5:30. His flight was scheduled to leave around 7:30 from Kennedy airport ...but Cirino went to Syracuse airport. He realized he was in the wrong airport once he and an airport employee looked at his ticket. He went to his uncle Francisco's house. It was around sunset when he got there.

Jose Cirino's mother is going to arrange for another flight. Jose Cirino leaves his uncle's house and goes to the Neilson Street home of a woman named Wanda. He walks there, alone. He can't remember when he got there but says Wanda, Julio and Wesley were there but doesn't know the last name of Wesley but says Wesley is a relative of Wanda. While at Wanda's, Jose Cirino played Playstation.

Jose Cirino admits smoking marijuana since age 12. He says he smokes daily, 'any time I can'. He smoked on April 12, 2007. Jose Cirino learned there were police officers outside the Neilson Street home when Wesley told him they were there. They were in the living room at the time. Cirino says Wesley entered the door from outside and told him police were outside. Jose Cirino learned a police officer was shot when Wesley told him--when Wesley came inside. Jose Cirino says he made no observations about Wesley's demeanor when he told him this information. Jose Cirino went to the window and saw the officers, then continued playing video games. Cirino went outside the house to smoke a cigarette.

Day Four: Jose Cirino is in the Courtroom

Jose Cirino makes his way to the witness stand. There was an audible buzz in the courtroom when the prosecution announced him as the next witness, as a prior witness--a Syracuse jail inmate--said that defendant Wesley Molina Cirino told him in the jail that his 18-year-old cousin, Jose Cirino, had killed Officer Lindsey. A Spanish translator is with Cirino at the witness stand. Cirino says he lives in Puerto Rico with his parents. Cirino says his street name is Mahone. Cirino came to the Utica after visiting family in Rhode Island. He came to Utica to visit his uncle, Francisco Cirino. He was asked to leave his uncle's house following an argument/misunderstanding with him. He went to stay with a cousin, Mario Cirino.

Cirino acknowledges knowing defendant Wesley Molina Cirino. He says they're distantly related and knows him as, "Flaco". He didn't know "Flaco" was in the U.S. until he arrived in the states. He began to hang around with "Flaco". He says he met Sammy Rivera at his uncle's house and became friends with him. He stayed at Sammy's house for a while. He saw "Flaco" while staying at Rivera's house but doesn't remember if he ever stayed the night. Cirino decided to leave the U.S. around April of 2007 because he had no where else to stay. He had no money ; never finished high school.

Day Four: "He's on his way"

Prosecution returns and tells the Judge Jose Cirino is on his way, quipping "He must've gotten lost in the tunnels."

Donalty is now standing behind his chair, and decides to call for a recess.

I'm going to let Joleen have a try at blogging for this next witness after the recess.

Day Four: Cirino "on the way?"

Judge Donalty asks about the witness. Prosecution says "I'll call, your honor, but it was my understanding he was on the way."

Day Four: Approaching the bench

Defense and prosecution has now approached the bench, and everyone continues to look at each other as Jose Cirino, after being called, as not arrived.

Day Four: Jose Cirino still a no-show

Jose Cirino still is a noshow. Everyone looks at each other. One of the prosecutors uses their legal pad as a fan, looking frustrated.

Day Four: Jose Cirino to take the stand

Jose Cirino takes the stand. We have heard Jose's name brought up by both inmate Jerry Scott, and Sammy Rivera in past testimony. A trannlator (seperate from Flaco's translator) is used for Jose Cirino.

The courtroom is quiet for a few moments as it awaits Jose Cirino, and he doesn't yet show.

Day Four: Cross-Examining Inmate Jerry Scott

Jerry Scott says he met with police twice, but called dozens of times. Defense asks if he was keeping close track of things via the TV of what's going on television.

Scott says no, that the things he was told about the case came from Flaco. Defense asks if he can speak Spanish. He says no. She asks if the words told to him by Flaco were told in fluent English. Scott says it was not as clearly as the defense and he are talking, but it was so that he could understand.

Defense asks if he called attorneys in Utica because he "was a good citizen." He says "yes," but points out it is also to help himself out.

Defense asks if everything he says today came strictly from conversations between himself and Wesley Molina-Cirino. Scott says that about 5 times Cirino said "his cousin, Jose, did it."

Defense asks if it was from what Scott heard that he made the assumption Flaco did it. Scott says yes.

Day Four: Inmate points out Flaco as person he met in prison

Inmate Jerry Scott points out Wesley Molina-Cirino to the court, noting he is the same person he hsa been referring to in his recollections while in prison.

Day Four: Flaco said "he didn't need luck"; inmate talks for deal and because family was police

When inmate Jerry Scott told Flaco "good luck," before Flaco was brought from the Syracuse area to Utica, Scott says Flaco told him: "I don't need luck. They ain't got nothin'."

After a while, Scott says he thought maybe if Flaco was talking, that maybe he could get out to see his son, and that is why he talked to police. He says another reason was because his uncle was a cop, and he wanted to be a cop. The judge sustains after Defense objects to the last statement about Scott wanting to be a cop.

Day Four: "Flaco said gun was a .44"; said "They can't prove it."

As they played Dominos, inmate Jerry Scott says that he asked Flaco what kind of gun it was. He says Flaco told him it was a ".44"

In regards to the traffic stop being made, Flaco told Scott that the man who was stopped was his cousin. He then changed his story and said it was "a friend," and that there was a baby in the car.

Scott said that if Rivera ever came home, "he was gonna get it." Scott says Flaco told him Jose Cirino drove Flaco to North Utica to get rid of the gun in the water. Scott says from the details that Flaco had told him, that he "got the feeling" Flaco had done it. When he asked Flaco if he was worried, Scott says Flaco told him:

"F#@k them. They can't prove it. They ain't got no weapon. There's nothing they can do."

Scott said Flaco said there was a "hit" out on Sammy Rivera and his "brothers," as Flaco thought Rivera was talking to police about the case.

Day Four: "The gun is in the lake behind Denny's"

Scott says that while in prison, as Flaco told him details of how Officer Lindsey was shot, Scott asked Flaco where the murder weapon was.

Scott says Flaco said "In the lake behind Denny's."

Scott then contacted a lawyer to get him in touch with the Oneida County District Attorney's Officer. Scott says he talked to police, and then, in prison, continued to get information from Flaco whenever the case would come on the news, or when they'd play dominos.

Day Four: Inmate says Cirino told him "how they did it"

Inmate Jerry Scott says that while cutting Cirino's hair in jail, that Cirino would run to the TV whenever news of the case came on, and talk about it.

Scott says he would ask some questions, but didn't believe Cirino at first. Scott says Cirino then gave him details. Scott says Cirino said Jose, Cirino's 18 year old cousin, snuck out of the car while the officer stopped the car on Neilson.

Scott says Cirino said when the Officer walked back to the car, they walked up and shot him. When Scott asked Cirino why they shot a cop. Cirino just told him "Cuz he did something," but wouldn't elaborate to Scott.

Day Four: Inmate Jerry Scott watched news of Lindsey in jail with Cirino

Jerry Scott is called to the stand. He is also an inmate, wearing a beige jumpsuit. Scott is 38 years old, currently incarcerated at Onondoga County Justice Center for robbery, burglaries, and larcenies. He says none of those charges have been disposed of.

He was in the Onondoga County Justice Center in Syracuse in April 2007. Scott says he met Cirino there on April 20, 2007. Scott says he cut the inmates' hair.

Scott says there is a TV that was on that weekend, which he was watching while cutting hair, and saw that an officer had been shot in Utica, New York, and a man named Sammy Rivera being in jail, and another suspect in Puerto Rico being questioned.

As that happened, Scott says Flaco stood up and shouted "That's my cousin! We have the same last name."

Day Four: Inmate Dennis Rodgers cross-examined, reiterates Flaco's words "I killed that motherf$%#er"

Defense asks if Dennis Rodgers had a violent felony on his record previous to these drug charges. Rodgers says that he got 3 years supervision, and 3 years in state prison by pleading guilty.

Defense asks if police came to see him on June 20, 2007, before he pleaded guilty. Rodgers says no, and asks if he knows who Investigator Kopec came to seem him. Rodgers says "it was a year ago," and doesn't remember. He says he doesn't remember talking to police in county jail.

While in jail, Rodgers says he did see that Officer Lindsey had been killed from watching the news.

Defense asks how many times Rodgers came into contact with Flaco. Defense wants to know if Flaco was spoken English when Rodgers overheard conversations. Rodgers says he deosn't speak Spanish, but that Flaco was speaking in a broken-English mixed with Spanish.

Rodgers says he was able to make out conversation from Flaco. Rodgers reiterates that he heard Flaco say "I had to kill somebody, so I killed that motherf$%#er."

Day Four: In prison transport, Flaco said "They ain't got S#@t on me."

Dennis Rodgers, an inmate at Oneida State Prison says he was coming to court for felony charges, when he recognized Flaco in the transport van. Rodgers says Flaco began talking in the van to another Spanish man. Rodgers was able to hear the conversation.

He said Flaco said "They ain't got S#@t on me."

Rodgers said he did not receive any deal for testifying, other than a recommendation for work release. He is not on work release at this time, hwoever.

Day Four: Inmate testifies Flaco said he meant to kill Sammy, but didn't due to the baby

A man in a green jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles is brought into court. A bailiff unlocks the handcuffs, but leaves the feet shackles on.

The man's name is Dennis Rodgers, he is 26 years old, and is being held at Oneida State Prison for felony drug charges he was arrested on March 2007. He is serving 3 1/2 years in prison for those charges.

He was incarcerated at Oneida County Jail at one point, where he at some timebecame familiar With Wesley Molina-Cirino (Flaco). While in the medical ward for a thumb injury in June, he came across some other inmates, who were having a conversation. He overheard a conversation between Flaco and another Spanish guy...speaking in broken english. Rodgers says he was able to understand the conversation.

He says he overheard Flaco say he was really going to kill Sammy, but didn't because there was a baby in the car, so shot Officer Lindsey instead. He said Flaco said he "just had to kill somebody."

Day Four: Maldanado cross-examined

Defense asks about the interview. She asks if they asked a specific question and got a specific answer. Officer says yes. Defense wants to know if there's any record in question and answer form asked between him and Wesley. Officer Maldanado says no, that it was just taken down in paragraph form by Investigator White.

Day Four: Flaco's statement to police

Officer Maldanado says that Flaco's understanding of English was "very limited."

While interviewed by UPD, Officer Maldanado says that he knew Flaco was wanted on warrants out of Syracuse. The officer is asked by prosecution to if the person interviewed is in the room. Officer says yes, and points to Cirino.

The officer is then asked to read from the statement.

In Flaco's statement, he said (paraphrased):

"On April 17, I was brought to UPD because of a warrant for my arrest. I met with investigator White. I dont' know English well. So officer Maldanado translated."

"On April 12, I awoke at 2 or 3 in afternoon, showered, got dressed and waited for my brother to come home from work. We then ate dinner. I went to Howard Ave to visit my cousin, Francisco Cirino."

"At about 8 p.m. Sammy came to my house with his son. Sammy stayed for half an hour. I told Sammy I was gonna turn myself in because of some warrants. Sammy said things were good with his wife and kids. We shook hands and left. I got a ride home from my brother, then showered and went to bed."

"Next day I read the newspaper and saw the officer was shot. I went to get my haircut on Saturday, and then I was told Sammy was locked up for what happened to the cop. I was going to the Domenican store at Seymour and Arthur. I met up with a guy I know as "Indio," Sammy's uncle."

"Indio said Sammy, Indio and another guy named Rico were on Neilson Street that night and were going to kill someone. They stole a car they left behind and got into Sammy's car. Sammy parked on Neilson Street that night and the officer then parked behind Sammy's car."

"Rico came up behind officer and shot him in the head. Rico is a short, and chubby Hispanic male with braids in his hair."

"I continued to the store for a loaf of bread."