Schenectady County

Deli slaying case going to Schenectady jury

Surveillance video taken inside the Eastern Avenue Deli & Grocery shows Laurel Teer standing at the

Surveillance video taken inside the Eastern Avenue Deli & Grocery shows Laurel Teer standing at the counter for several seconds before a masked gunman enters from behind.

Teer doesn’t appear to acknowledge the man brandishing a silver handgun until he pushes up against her. She reacts by pushing back against him from the counter.

“You betta’ step,” the gunman says to her, still aiming his gun at the clerk. “You betta’ step.”

“Will you get off me,” she growls back.

Teer then kicks the gunman in the groin and he responds by smacking her in the head with the gun barrel. There’s a loud blast and Teer falls to the ground; the startled gunman drops his weapon.

He then grabs Teer’s limp body with one hand and retrieves the gun with the other. Seconds later, he bolts from the store, leaving behind the mortally wounded Teer.

Prosecutor Robert Carney contends the gunman was Wade McCommons Jr., a so-called three-star general in the Nine Trey Gangster sect of the Bloods. He played video of the June 5, 2009, shooting twice for jurors during his closing statements Monday. “Hour later, he described it as ‘the bitch came out of nowhere, I shot her,’ ” Carney told the jury.

But defense attorney Adam Parisi said the case against McCommons was built on faulty testimony from unreliable witnesses with criminal backgrounds and plea deals in hand for their cooperation in the case. He said the ballistics tests from the Lorcin 9mm semiautomatic handgun recovered by police proved inconclusive and that DNA evidence pulled from Teer’s bloody sweatshirt showed no evidence that she was ever touched by McCommons.

“The shooter left DNA there,” he said. “All the DNA testing excludes [McCommons].”

McCommons, 26, is on trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of Teer 41. He’s also accused of being the gunman in an attempted armed robbery on Rugby Road nine days before she was murdered.

The case featured 11 days of testimony from 41 witnesses called by the prosecution. The defense rested after calling two witnesses Friday — Mc-Commons did not testify in his own defense.

Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Michael Coccoma is expected to read the charges to the jurors and allow them to begin deliberating this morning.

In his closing statements, Parisi hinted that investigators pegged the wrong man for the shooting. He said the shooter was initially identifi ed as being more than four inches taller and with darker skin than McCommons.

He disputed the prosecution’s assertions that the gunman was wearing gloves during the shooting and suggested the unidentifi ed DNA evidence recovered from Teer’s body would implicate the real shooter. He also disputed the events that occurred during the incident at Rugby Road, in which crack cocaine was allegedly involved.

“There’s two stories of what’s going on in this house,” he said.

McCommons was on federal parole from a 2006 weapons conviction when Teer was killed. Just two days after the shooting, he was in a vehicle pulled over by Schenectady police and later admitted to swallowing a rock of crack cocaine during the traffi c stop.

McCommons was then handed two months of home detention. But he racked up 16 separate violations of his parole during this period and was ultimately ordered back into federal custody.

Prosecutors filed charges stemming from the Teer’s death shortly before McCommons was scheduled to be released from a federal penitentiary in Kentucky in September 2010. He was later indicted on 19 charges related to the Eastern Avenue shooting and the unrelated Rugby Road robbery.

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