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Utica murder: Police investigate; D.A. braces for possible defense

"The headline is out there, 'boyfriend kills girlfriend and posts photograph on social media' and most people think the investigation is complete and it's done and over with," says District Attorney Scott McNamara,

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 6:11 PM

"The headline is out there, 'boyfriend kills girlfriend and posts photograph on social media' and most people think the investigation is complete and it's done and over with," says District Attorney Scott McNamara, referring to the murder, Sunday, of 17-year-old Bianca Devins, of Utica, allegedly at the hand of 21-year-old Brandon Clark, of Cicero, who she was dating.

But, in fact, Utica Police are undertaking a massive investigation.

"In this case, a lot of it is background on both individuals. Speaking to people that knew them both," said Utica Police Lt., Bryan Coromato. "Trying to understand their relationship, what the mindset of each person in the relationship was."

A lot of this is toward the end of answering a single question.

"We're trying to see if it was preplanned or if it's something that just happened," added Coromato.

While police pursue interviews, the Oneida County District Attorney's Office prepares for potential defenses.

"Under the law, there's something called extreme emotional disturbance," said D.A., Scott McNamara. "It doesn't negate the crime, but it mitigates it. What I mean by that is it doesn't make it so you're not guilty, it just reduces the level of crime, so it would knock it from a murder 2nd to manslaughter in the 1st degree."

McNamara alluded to the potential trigger event in this case.

"The belief is that she kissed somebody at the concert and that's what upset him," said the D.A., referring to a concert the victim and suspect attended the night before the murder. It's a potential defense McNamara does not embrace, but is prepared to address.

"I have a very hard time understanding how anyibody can justify taking another young person's life because they kissed somebody else"

Oneida County Public Defender, Frank Nebush, declined to be interviewed for this story.

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