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Jury finds Patterson guilty on all counts in fatal shooting of Sheriff's Deputy
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It took an Oneida County Jury two hours to deliberate seven days worth of testimony in the murder trial of Christian Patterson.
Their verdict: guilty of all five crimes against him, including the aggravated murder of Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman, attempted aggravated murder of Investigator David Nowakowski and Deputy Tom Larkin, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment.
Prosecutor Michael Coluzza walked out of the courtroom to a standing ovation by roughly 100 deputies and Wyman family members. He said that testimony was complex, because the events of June 6 were chaotic. However, in that testimony, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says there were facts that point unmistakably to the defendant's intent.
"The scene was a rather complicated scene, because it was a shootout," Coluzza said. "However, it also gave us a lot of clues and different facts that we could weave together to try and demonstrate to the jury that our rendition of events was the correct one."
Wyman's family wore pink in honor of him. They say the young deputy used to wear a pink shirt and the family would joke that real men DO wear pink. They say that, while they're glad they won't have to go to the Oneida County Courthouse again on Friday, they realize the toughest task is still ahead.
"It's figuring out how to live life. What does that look like? I don't know. Anyone can tell me if they know. It's something that I...we have to figure out every day," says Deputy Wyman's widow, Lauren Wyman.
Deputy Wyman's father, Brian Wyman, says it was the verdict they'd hoped for. Brian Wyman says he doesn't devote much time or effort thinking about his son's killer.
"I keep myself from thinking about him, because I'll probably just get angry and I don't want to go there," says Brian Wyman, who teared up talking about the pride he felt for his son, who'd achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a law enforcement officer.
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, just six months into his first term when the tragedy happened, was in court every day for the trial. He listened to the defense theorize that an ill-conceived, ill-fated plan by his department was partly to blame for the death of one of their own.
"I certainly support the actions of the members of my agency. Certainly the heroic acts of Deputy Kurt Wyman. Deputy Wyman put his life before that of Christian Patterson to save Christian Patterson's life and in doing so he gave his own," says Maciol.
Christian Patterson will be sentenced April 11 in Oneida County Court. The sentence for aggravated murder is life in prison without parole.