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Alice Trappler Found Guilty
WATKINS GLEN -- [WENY] Last Fall, Alice Trappler was accused of conspiring with her ex-husband and his step-brother to kill Daniel Bennett of Dix. After looking at an overwhelming amount of evidence-- including text messages between Trappler and the alleged triggerman--the jury sided with the prosecution. Alice Trappler is charged with 2 counts of murder and faces 25 years to life in jail.
Defense Attorney Susan BetzJitomir says a jury member told me the deciding piece of evidence didn't come from the courtroom. It was a text jurors read while pouring over court documents in jury-room. The juror wouldn't give specifics about that text message.
"He said it was nothing that was presented in court," says BetzJitomir. "He said, while we were looking for the texts and we found a text that nobody brought up and that convinced us."
The feeling in court was tense when the judge announced the jury reached a verdict. Judge Dennis Morris told audience members to leave if they thought they would cause an outburst when he read the rulings.
The jury found Alice Trappler guilty of two counts of murder, two counts of burglary, and one count of conspiracy. Trappler showed little emotion. She gave one last look to her parents and shook her head.
Family and friends of the murder victim, Daniel Bennett, could be heard sobbing.
District Attorney Joe Fazzary says they picked a very good jury who took their job very seriously.
"They went in, they looked at the exhibits, and ultimately they came to the conclusion that law enforcement and I believed they would come to after seeing all that evidence," says Fazzary. "In our minds there was no doubt that she was guilty the jury just proved that to be true."
Immediately after the verdict was read, Bennett's family and friends, some wearing shirts that honored Bennett, embraced the DA. They didn't want to talk on camera, but let us record their thoughts about coming to court every day.
Bennett's sister Alecia says, "It was hard to listen to but obviously, just was served, so it was worth it, every second was worth it."
A close family friend, January Brown came throughout the case as well. Brown says "We want to thank the investigators, the police, everybody who helped is bring this case to where it is today. None of us could be happier."
Trappler's sentencing is in July, but her defense attorney still thinks Trappler is innocent and is going to appeal.