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Video-tape confession used in court in local murder case

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - On day three of testimony in the murder trial of a Utica man accused of a nearly six-year-old murder in the town of Deerfield, jurors heard from the defendant himself-via a videotaped interview with Oneida County Sheriff's Department investigators.

It appeared as though the murder of 29-year-old Jennifer Bennett, whose body was found behind the Deerfield Firehouse in January of 2007, would go unsolved. It did, for nearly six years, until Craig Ingersoll, of north Utica, was arrested on unrelated charges and a DNA match with evidence found on Bennett lead police right to Ingersoll.

During the videotaped interview, aired during Ingersoll's trial on Thursday, he begins denying ever having been in Bennett's company, saying he doesn't understand men who patronize prostitutes. Several minutes in, he acknowledges picking up Bennett in order to pay her for sex, and choking her when she refuses to accomodate a specific request.

"I think it was more or less I had like the mind set of 'I already gave you money, I want to do whatever I want," said Ingersoll.

"And you were choking her?" asked one of the investigators.

"I believe so, yes," said Ingersoll.

The defense attorney said that the investigators were asking leading questions, basically laying out a scenario and asking Ingersoll to agree with it.

"You asked many leading questions while you were interviewing him?" asked Luke Nebush.

"I'm sorry, I asked him leading questions?" asked Investigator David Nowakowski.

"Leading questions. During your questioning you would ask in a way that would elicit a yes or no answer," said Nebush.

One more prosecution witness is expected to take the stand on Friday. Then Ingersoll and his attorneys will decide whether or not he will testify on his own behalf. Then the attorneys will make closing arguments. There is no court on Monday. The judge told jurors they'll get the case on Tuesday.

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