Alvarez denied retrial in 2003 killing of teen

Convicted killer Orlando B. Alvarez is out of luck in his attempt to obtain a new trial for the 2003

Convicted killer Orlando B. Alvarez is out of luck in his attempt to obtain a new trial for the 2003 murder of 14-year-old Shauna Beekman.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, without comment in a decision issued Thursday, denied Alvarez’s motion to vacate his conviction on the grounds that his lawyers at the trial and appeals level were ineffective.

The 40-year-old Alvarez is serving a 40-year sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility.

Alvarez, who formulated his motion to vacate, admitted in it for the first time that he killed the girl.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira said Thursday that she and the Beekman family members find it “deeply satisfying” that Alvarez has finally admitted his responsibility for the murder … “for the factual scenario I presented to the jury.”

Sira said it is telling that the Appellate Court rejected the motion without comment, an indication that it was “completely without merit.”

Sira said she informed the child’s mother, Merdice Jones, of the Appellate Division ruling. Jones, she said, was pleased.

In his motion, Alvarez, a former New York City resident previously convicted in Fulton County of selling drugs, admits to the murder but seeks to explain it as an unintentional and spontaneous act that should have resulted in a manslaughter charge instead of the murder count.

The problem with that argument, Sira said after Alvarez filed his motion, is that it is completely contrary to Alvarez’s trial strategy, which was to claim that he was innocent and not even present when the crime was committed.

At trial, Sira accused Alvarez, then residing in Albany, of hiding in the home and sexually assaulting the child as she returned from school. He had dated Jones, but the two had split up.

Sira said then that she did not need to prove premeditation, just intent. And, she said, “when someone slices another person’s throat through the carotid artery, it is indicative of intent.”

Alvarez argued that the incident may have started as an assault, but then the victim introduced “the weapon into the conflict.”

There was, he said, “no intent or conscious objective to kill.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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