The Lateisha Green Trial: Monday Blog Post
This is legal intern, Laura Vogel, back again to blog from Syracuse regarding the Lateisha Green trial. After we met with Teish’s family on Sunday, we were having a working dinner when we got an urgent call from Andy Marra (GLAAD).
NBC Pre-trial Coverage
The local NBC news station contacted Andy regarding a story about the trial for the evening news, which airs only two hours after they called Andy! Michael and I sprung into action mode, got suited up, and left immediately. We picked Andy up at her hotel and went to the news station, where we met reporter Haley Hinds. Haley asked Michael several excellent questions, and Michael did a wonderful job of explaining the importance of the trial of Dwight DeLee, Teish’s alleged killer. Video of the news segment is available here. I also took a few pictures during the interview:
July 13th - Starting the 1st Day of Trial with a Press Conference
Monday morning, we arrived at the Onondaga County Courthouse to hold a press conference at 10 am. Teish’s family, friends, and community members stood together while several individuals spoke. Andy Marra did an excellent job coordinating and introducing all of the speakers. Rhonda Gary, Teish’s aunt, gave the family’s statement, as Teish’s mother and father, Roxanne and Albert, were too overwhelmed to do so. Roxanne and Albert hugged each other and their son Mark as Rhonda read the statement. It described the impact of their loss upon the family. The family also called for the New York State Senate’s passage of GENDA, a plea that was echoed by the representatives from SAGE, The Pride Agenda of New York, and our own executive director, Michael Silverman.
Here are some pictures I took at the press conference:
Here is video footage of the full press conference, in two parts. Part 1:
The trial of Dwight DeLee, Teish’s accused murderer, began today with the jury selection process. Large groups of potential jurors were brought into the courtroom and asked questions by the prosecution, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Doran, as well as the defense. By approximately 3:00PM, twelve jurors and two alternates had been chosen to serve. Of that group, there were eight women and six men. It also appears as though twelve jurors are white, one is black, and one is Hispanic. The age group of the jurors varies, though there are several jurors who appear to be thirty to forty, as well as some who appear to be over sixty years old.
After jury selection ended, the chosen jurors were escorted back into court and given preliminary directions from the judge. Then, the prosecution and defense gave their opening statements. ADA Matt Doran asked the jury to recall the story of Occam’s razor, which cut away all of the unnecessary facts and unlikely stories to get to the truth; he asserted that the simplest explanation of the facts is likely the most accurate. He also stated that this case “is not a whodunit.”
The defense attorney reminded the jurors to have an open mind, and called into question the witnesses’ ability to clearly recall the events of the evening, claiming that the party was rowdy, people were drinking alcohol, and that it was dark outside. He also questioned DeLee’s knowledge of Teish and Mark’s sexual orientation, and thus his ability to form the intent necessary for the commission of a hate crime.
Witness for the Prosecution: Mark Anthony Cannon
After opening statements, the prosecution called its first witness to the stand. Mark Anthony Cannon, Teish's openly gay 19-year-old brother, was shaking as he tearfully described the events of November 14, 2008. Mark stated that their friend, Alyssa Davis, called Teish and asked her to come to the scene of the crime so that Alyssa could talk to her. Mark drove Teish and another friend to 411 Seymour Street, which was only about ten blocks away from home. When they got to the house, they pulled up to the curb to talk with Alyssa, her two-year-old son, and another friend. While they talked, Mark turned back and forth between Teish, in the front passenger seat of his father’s car, and the others, outside of the car. After chatting for about five minutes, Mark heard a gunshot and Teish began screaming, “He got a gun, he shot me! He shot me!”
Mark immediately turned towards the open window and saw the barrel of DeLee’s gun, and DeLee’s face in a blue hooded sweatshirt. He described his state of mind as being “in shock” as he quickly drove back to his house. They thought that Teish had only been shot in the arm, when in fact her wounds were much more serious. During the short drive, Mark described Teish as going in and out of consciousness. Once they arrived at home, Mark realized that the bullet had hit him, as well as Teish. Both siblings were taken to the hospital via ambulance shortly after arriving home. Asked to identify the shooter, Mark pointed to Dwight DeLee, whom we saw for the first time today. He wore a white shirt, black tie, black trousers and black shoes.
After ADA Doran finished questioning Mark about the events of the evening, referring to the evidence of his and Teish’s clothes from the night, as well as pictures of the crime scene and the car, the defense attorney began his cross examination. The defense attorney began by questioning Mark about the clothes that he and Teish were wearing when they were shot. Teish was wearing a scarf on her hair, white t-shirt, jeans, boots, and a leather jacket. Mark stated the scarf was worn in the style of women who haven’t had their hair done, that the jeans were tight and fitted, and that the T-shirt had a scooped neck. Mark also said that he was wearing fitted jeans and a woman’s jacket. As the attorney asked Mark about Teish, he referred to Teish as Moses Canon, and used male pronouns. However, Mark continually responded to the questions by using the name Teish and female pronouns. The defense attorney also questioned Mark’s ability to identify DeLee and his weapon, but Mark made it apparent that he saw both clearly.
At 5 pm, Judge Walsh adjourned the trial. Judge Walsh seems determined to move the case forward efficiently. Tomorrow will begin with the defense counsel’s continued cross-examination of Mark, and will proceed into further witness testimony.
Show Your Support
Please send personal notes of encouragement to Lateisha’s family during this difficult time. You can email correspondence to: email@example.com. We can't guarantee the family will be able to reply to your emails, but we know that they'll read them and that they appreciate everyone's support. Please write!
For continued updates throughout the trial, stay tuned to all of the following sources:
the “Justice for Teish” Facebook page; and