Testimony begins in trial for man accused in Utica College lockdown

Monday jurors were chosen, both the prosecution and the defense made their opening statements and several witnesses testified.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 11:25 AM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 8:40 AM

UTICA, N.Y. – Fahrudin Omerovic, 23, is the man that allegedly had the entire Utica College campus on lockdown for hours back on March 5 and brought in multiple law enforcement agencies from the state police to the FBI.

NewsChannel 2’s Rachel Murphy was in court following the proceedings. She says the courtroom was full of potential jurors Monday, with five rows packed with men and women of all ages.

Twelve jurors were chosen on Monday along with three alternate. Both the prosecution and the defense made their opening statements and three witnesses testified.

In court, Judge Dwyer had clear instructions for the potential jurors, not to follow the case on social media or in the news, not to drive by  the Utica College campus  and not to discuss the case with anyone.

The judge asked them questions like, “have you or a family members ever been convicted of a crime? If they work in law enforcement or if they or anyone they know at Utica College during the time of the lockdown.”

Omerovic is charged with two counts of felony making a terroristic threat for allegedly calling in phone threats to Utica College. Police say he used a phone app to disguise his number and made the phone calls, which led to an hours-long lockdown with a response from local, state and federal law enforcement.

Omerovic previously rejected a plea deal that would have given him 10 years in state prison.

The prosecution told jurors they would see that these calls were calculated and left a lasting impact.

While the defense says the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Omerovic did this with an intent to harm people. They say he was going through a difficult time and was on illegal medication that influenced his actions.


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