(May 11, 2017)
Two and a half weeks of intense, complicated and tearful testimony came to an end Wednesday, when the defense rested their case in the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley.
Conley is accused of poisoning her boss, local chiropractor Mary Yoder, to death in July 2015. Defense Attorney Christopher Pelli called victim Mary Yoder's sister, Janine King, to the stand. King shared with jurors what she told investigators early on in the case.
"Ok, I'm willing to accept that maybe Katie had something to do with this but I cannot believe she acted on her own," said King.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution, King acknowledged that at one point, she considered the possibility that another of her sisters killed Mary.
Also on the stand Wednesday was victim Mary Yoder's sister, Sharon Mills, who first alerted the Oneida County Sheriff's Department that her sister died of Colchicine toxicity. Mills thinks they have the wrong suspect.
"It has become my theory. I had several initially. With what I know now, it is still my theory that he killed my sister," said Mills, referring to her former brother-in-law, William Yoder.
To advance the theory that William Yoder was unfaithful and suggest that infidelity was a motive for Mary Yoder's murder, the defense called Kathy Richmond's neighbor to the stand. Richmond, also Mary Yoder's sister, began dating Mary's husband, William Yoder, shortly after Mary's death.
Richmond says she began dating William Yoder in September 2015 - about two months after her sister died. But her neighbor testified that she saw Richmond and William Yoder in an intense interlude two weeks before Mary Yoder died.
"They were sitting on the ground, on the porch, and Bill was holding Kathy and he was kissing her and looking in her eyes and it was very intense," said Patricia Keating. Keating said she remembered the date because her daughter had a doctor's appointment around the same time.
Testimony in the case is complete. Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. , the defense will make closing arguments, followed by the prosecution. Then, the judge will charge/instruct the jury. That will likely happen after lunch. Then, the jury will begin deliberations.