A mistrial? What a waste
After months of pre-trial work and five days of testimony, Judge Andrew Ceresia declared a mistrial in the attempted murder trial of Ariel Myers, who stands accused of shooting Bob Guynup once in the head in front of his Griswald Heights apartment on Sept. 19, 2009.
Tuesday, defense attorney Greg Cholakis told the judge that he represented at least two of the DA’s witnesses in unrelated manners and as such there was no way he could properly defend Myers. Ceresia, who was none too happy, had no choice but to declare a mistrial.
Cholakis was quick to blame the office of District Attorney Rich McNally for not providing him with the witness list and other obligatory information in a timely manner, a criticism most defense attorneys have had of DA’s at one time or another.
And McNally, who said the witness list was turned over just prior to jury selection, was just as quick to blame Cholakis for not telling anyone about the conflict saying Cholakis’s actions were either “stupid or sabotage.”
If you remember, the two were in a hotly contested race for DA in 2007 with McNally edging out Cholakis by just 225 votes, 19,586 to 19,361. Funny, how throughout the campaign they were more than cordial and in this space we even said they were being too nice to each other. Looks like those sentiments have changed.
We’re not lawyers so we’re not sure who’s at fault (if it matters, from what we've read and heard, Cholakis was getting the upper hand before it came to a screeching halt) but the whole thing is just a waste.
Cholakis works for the Public Defender’s Office so we paid his salary. We obviously paid Assistant District Attorney Keith Muse and we paid the judge, the guards, the stenographer and more than a few witnesses. That’s not to mention the hundreds if not thousands of hours spent by the police during their investigation.
And, since there will be another trial probably in September we are paying to keep Meyers in the Rensselaer County jail.
A small price compared to the Guynup family, who have yet to have any justice, and the Meyers family, because Ariel is still innocent and will spend another four months in jail waiting to see if a jury thinks differently.