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Christian Patterson takes stand late in Day 5 of his own murder trial
UTICA, N.Y.(WKTV) - Testimony resumed Monday morning in Oneida County Court in Utica for the trial of Christian Patterson - the man accused of fatally shooting Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman during a standoff in the Town of August in June 2011.
Deputy Jeff Burkhart, who began his testimony on Friday, returned to the stand on Monday, telling how he was positioned on the top of a Sheriff's car that night. Deputy Burkhart said that after he heard the pops from the non-lethal bullets fired from another deputy, he then heard some other pops.
Burkhart says he then entered the garage as Patterson and heard someone say, "Officer down." That is when Burkhart says he looked and saw Deputy Kurt Wyman down.
As another deputy was detaining Patterson, Burkhart, a trained paramedic, secured his rifle, and went to Wyman's aid. He says Wyman was laying on his back, eyes closed, not breathing. Burkhart said he then went with two other deputies along with two EMT's in the ambulance, where Wyman was unresponsive as they arrived at the hospital.
He said it wasn't long before someone came out and told him and others that Wyman had passed away.
Lieutenant Ronald Townsend, who was responsible for the Emergency Response Team the night of the standoff, also took the stand Monday, testifying that "less than lethal" weapons would be used to separate Patterson from his gun, only in the event Patterson took his right hand off the trigger of his gun. He said those circumstances occurred when Patterson tried to put a jacket on, and let go of his gun. Townsend says that's when two officers fired the rubber bullets, hitting Patterson in the abdomen.
Lt Townsend says he believes that may have caused Patterson to go backward, then fall forward onto his knees, the gun landing back on his legs. He was never separated from the gun, Townsend said, adding that he then saw something move to his left and yelled, "No!"
That something that moved, he now knows was Deputy Wyman. Townsend says he went up to the garage and dragged Wyman's body off the the side while other deputies secured Patterson.
After lengthy testimony from four of the sheriff's department officers on scene that night, the prosecution rested just after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon and that is when the defendant, Christian Patterson, took the stand.
By the time testimony wrapped for the day on Monday, the court heard only testimony about Patterson's background, with nothing yet on what happened the night of the standoff.
The court learned that Patterson grew up in the City of Utica, graduating from Utica Free Academy in 1989. He went to Mohawk Valley Community College for two years for criminal justice, but did not graduate.
He then began a career of many different jobs, including his latest, doing cleaning work at Utica College for a contract company.
The court heard Monday how Patterson and his long time girlfriend, Shannon Secor, who he met when he was 21, had a child together - Christian Jr. The child is now 17, but Patterson described his and Shannon's relationship with their son as "not good."