LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Gates resident accused of murdering a 64-year-old woman and burning her body in Caledonia heard the first evidence against him at trial on Tuesday.
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District Attorney Greg McCaffrey laid out his theory of the case, that Aykut Ozkaynak, 34, smothered Patrice Miller, 64, who was the roomate of his girlfriend, Mary Neverett, 42, before they drove the body to Caledonia and set it on fire.
“We believe that Mr. Ozkaynak, though he received help from Ms. Neverett, is ultimately the one who actually killed Patrice Miller,” said McCaffrey.
Defense attorney Steven Sessler cross examined witnesses and raised several issues on this first day of hearing evidence. For example, he pointed out that none of his client’s DNA or trace evidence was recovered at the scene of Miller’s burned body.
McCaffrey called four witnesses and entered pieces of evidence, including photographs. He pointed out that no one’s DNA or trace evidence was recovered at the scene.
New York State Police investigated the death and arrested Ozkaynak and Neverett for murder and evidence tampering. Neverett pled guilty to felony manslaughter in the First Degree and agreed to serve 20 years in prison. She could testify against Ozkaynak at a later date.
Trial will continue Wednesday with further testimony by McCaffrey’s witnesses.