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Jury begins deliberating Conley's fate

Defense attorney Christopher Pelli delivered closing arguments first in the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley, the Sauquoit woman accused of poisoning her boss, local chiropractor Mary Yoder, to death in July 2015.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2017 5:29 PM
Updated: Dec. 1, 2017 5:29 PM

(May 12, 2017)

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Defense attorney Christopher Pelli delivered closing arguments first in the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley, the Sauquoit woman accused of poisoning her boss, local chiropractor Mary Yoder, to death in July 2015. Pelli began by questioning the strength of the prosecution's case.

"Proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Really? Really?" asked Pelli.

Prosecutor Laurie Lisi, too, addressed the subject of doubt, but in a very different way.

"Don't forget something philosophers have said throughout time. And that is, that there is some doubt in all that we do," offered Lisi.

Lisi also offered an answer to the question that's plagued many since the trial began three weeks ago: why?

"I submit to you, ladies and gentleman of the jury, that motive in this case comes down to two words: Adam Yoder," Lisi said. "Rejection did not sit well with Kaitlyn Conley ... Two times this defendant has been rejected by Adam Yoder. And we all know what can happen to a woman scorned. Hell hath no fury."

The defense said his client willingly submitted to police questioning six times without ever asking for an attorney.

"What guilty person goes to speak to police six separate times, doesn't ask for an attorney, and allows themselves to be subjected to every interrogation tactic in the book?" asked Pelli, who then told jurors to feel free to request to see and hear the recorded police interviews of Conley again. "If you want to watch them all ... In my opinion, it's a seven-hour documentary on how to obtain a false statement."

The prosecution let defendant Conley have the last word in her closing arguments, replaying a portion of Oneida County Sheriff's Department investigators' interview with Conley.

"Guys don't hang on to the murder weapon because that's why they get caught," said Investigator Mark VanNamee.

"Right, but guys also don't use poison," Conley said.

"A lot of people don't," VanNamee responded.

"They say it's a lady's weapon," Conley said.

Jurors sent the judge a note requesting to hear back three portions of testimony. They'll review them when they resume deliberations Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Also on Thursday, the judge released two alternate jurors and kept two.

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