The man who allegedly shot two men and a teenager in the head on Jan. 30 after he drank and smoked marijuana for several hours pleaded not guilty Friday to the charges.
The attorney for Jovan Underdue, 31, of Albany, said the statement that Underdue gave to police admitting to the shootings was coerced.
Underdue, who wore a bulletproof vest in court, was arraigned on three counts of first-degree murder and single counts of first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon before Albany County Judge Stephen W. Herrick. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Underdue’s attorney, Lee Kindlon, said Underdue was questioned for more than 12 hours before he gave the statement to police.
Kindlon admitted there’s some evidence against Underdue, a statement that “everyone has seen” and he can’t dispute the fact that Underdue was at the scene the night of the shootings. But, he said, someone else may have committed the crime and set Underdue up.
“Until we wade into the case and get discovery and see what the people have, I don’t have all the answers,” said Kindlon.
Kindlon said that he has every intention of going to trial.
“We understand it will be an uphill fight, but it’s what we do,” he said.
There was extra security in the courtroom for Underdue’s arraignment, which was held earlier than scheduled to prevent the chaos that erupted during his first appearance in City Court, where family and friends of the victims were overcome with emotion.
The indictment alleges that Underdue killed Victor Anderson, 25, Keynon Hankins, 16, and Bobby Jones, 26, by shooting each in the head with a handgun at an apartment at 190 Delaware Ave. Police said that Underdue was depressed and angry about his life when he committed the crime.
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