Like a puppet with its strings cut. That's how one investigator described Deputy Kurt Wyman after he was fatally shot in the early morning hours of June 7th. Law enforcement officers took the stand in Oneida County Court Wednesday and testified about the final hours of the deputy's life when they, and Wyman himself, worked to save the life of the man prosecutors say would ultimately pull the trigger. YNN's Sarah Blazonis has more on the trial of Christian Patterson.
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. -- "I knew he wasn't going to survive, so I reached down and touched his leg and I told him, 'I'm sorry,'" Oneida County Sheriff's Investigator Dave Nowakowski said on the stand Wednesday.
The courtroom was silent except for the sound of crying as Investigator Nowakowski recounted the final moments of Deputy Kurt Wyman.
Nowakowski testified that despite hours of negotiations with Christian Patterson at his Augusta home last June, Patterson never took his hand off the trigger, even after officers fired less than lethal rounds at him. He says he saw Wyman move towards the garage with his taser drawn and then there was a loud bang.
"Kurt just went down," Investigator Nowakowski said. "Best I can describe it is if you had a puppet and you cut the strings."
Patterson's defense attorney questioned the way the situation was handled, including why officers didn't simply wait Patterson out.
"Time was not on our side in this situation," Nowakowski said.
"Why do you say that?" asked Patterson's lawyer, Frank Nebush.
"Because the sun was going to come up and we'd be in plain view of him," said Nowakowski.
"Everybody was in plain view when the sun went down," said Nebush, referring to the handful of officers initially at the scene.
"The situation had deteriorated," said Nowakowski.
Patterson's defense attorney repeatedly asked officers on the stand whether his client said he initially didn't intend to harm anyone and they responded that that was true, but they say that his words and actions throughout the course of the stand-off indicated differently.
Jurors heard that Patterson at times put the butt of the gun on the ground and pulled the muzzle toward himself and also turned the stool he was sitting in so his gun pointed at officers.
Defense attorneys say Patterson obeyed all commands from officers to stop such actions. All, the prosecution notes, but one.
"We were begging him, 'Put the gun down. Just do me a favor, put the gun down,'" said Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Chrysler.
The command prosecutors say was the most frequent, and most important, of that night.