CANTON — The double attempted murder trial of Raymondville mechanic Timothy A. Bethel continues this week in St. Lawrence County Court, with more than a dozen individuals having testified as of Wednesday afternoon.
Closing arguments were heard Thursday morning by a jury of three men and nine women before acting County Court Judge William A. Favreau, Clinton County.
Bethel, 52, of 8648 Route 56, is accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in 2018, by running their motorcycle off the road while he was driving a customer’s car.
The trial began with jury selection March 9, and opening statements were delivered March 11, by Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm and Bethel’s attorney Paul G. Carey of Syracuse.
The New York State Unified Court System issued a memorandum March 13, directing civil and criminal jury trials be postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unless opening statements have already started in a civil trial or the jury has already been sworn in for a criminal trial.
Under the criminal jury trial exception, Bethel’s trial has been allowed to continue, though members of the public were turned away from sitting in the gallery this week.
Charged with two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies, Bethel could face up to 25 years in prison for each count of attempted murder, and first-degree assault, and up to seven years for each count of second-degree assault, if convicted.
The indictment charges at 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2018, on Marsh Road in the town of Norfolk, Bethel intended to cause the death of his ex-girlfriend Amy L. Baxter and her boyfriend, Ronald C. Brothers, and caused them each serious injury when they were thrown from a 2014 Harley Davidson after it was rear-ended by a white 1997 Buick LeSabre operated by Bethel.
Last week, Mr. HaberkornHalm, who is prosecuting with Assistant District Attorney Sasha Mascarenhas, opened by describing the case — the Marsh Road hit-and-run, the white Buick sedan, the motorcycle skidding with Ms. Baxter bouncing “like a rag doll” behind it — and the involvement of various investigative agencies, including state police and its Crash Reconstruction Unit.
After Judge Favreau presented instructions to the jurors Thursday, deliberations began on the six counts for which Bethel was indicted last year. No verdict had been reached as of Thursday evening.