The man who confessed to a triple homicide did so under duress, his attorney said Friday after he entered an innocent plea in court to murder charges.
The statement Jovan Underdue gave to police was coerced, said attorney Lee Kindlon.
Underdue, 31, of Albany, is accused of shooting two men and a teenager in the head on Jan. 30. In the statement, he told police he had been smoking marijuana and drinking for several hours before the shootings, and that he was depressed.
Underdue was arraigned on three counts of first-degree murder, as well as single counts of first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon before Albany County Court Judge Stephen W. Herrick early Friday morning.
If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Kindlon said Underdue was questioned for more than 12 hours before he gave the statement to police.
Kindlon said 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 might have committed the crimes 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 he has every intention of going to trial. “We understand it will be an uphill fight, but it’s what we do.”
Underdue wore a bulletproof vest in court and there was a huge law enforcement presence at the courthouse Friday. The arraignment was held earlier than scheduled in an effort to avert the chaos that erupted during his first appearance in City Court when family and friends of the victims were overcome with anger and grief.
The plan worked. The arraignment was quiet.
The indictment alleges that early on the morning of Jan. 30, Underdue killed Victor Anderson, 25, Keynon Hankins, 16, and Bobby Jones, 26, shooting each in the head with a handgun at an apartment at 190 Delaware Ave.
He then stole property and money from the victims, according to the indictment.
The bodies were discovered at 7 a.m. that day.
At a news conference following Underdue’s arrest, police said he was depressed and angry about his life when he killed the three.
Homicide and Special Victims Bureau Chief Dave Rossi is prosecuting the case for the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.
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Categories: Schenectady County