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Schenectady Co. jury deliberating in car assault case

Schenectady Co. jury deliberating in car assault case

Man accused of using vehicle as a weapon
Schenectady Co. jury deliberating in car assault case
The jury is to resume deliberations Thursday morning.
Photographer: Shutterstock

A Schenectady County jury is deliberating the fate of a city man accused of using his car to end a bar fight last year.

Edward O. Daniels, 35, of Gari Lane, is standing trial on attempted-murder and assault counts, accused of driving his car into 39-year-old Levar Tillman early on April 23, 2016 on Swan Street.

Daniels sought Tillman out after the fight and then ran him down to exact "street justice," prosecutor Nicolaus Brooks-McDonald argued in closing statements Wednesday.

The defense argued Daniels is not criminally responsible, suggesting either Tillman had a gun or Daniels didn't intend to hit him. Key prosecution witnesses also lied, defense attorney Kevin O'Brien alleged.

Deliberations Wednesday lasted about three hours. The jury is to resume deliberations Thursday morning.

The incident began at the TenTen Lounge on State Street that morning. An argument between the two led to a fist fight and both men were ejected separately from the establishment, attorneys said.

Minutes later, as Tillman walked on Swan Street near Albany Street, Daniels drove into Tillman, attorneys said. The victim reported flipping into the air and possibly hitting a building.

City street surveillance cameras captured the general incident. The camera was about a block away, meaning closer details can't be seen.

O'Brien gave a sometimes heated closing argument, raising his voice to the jury as he argued the defense witnesses could not be trusted.

"This guy's a citizen. He's got a name, Ed Daniels, and the government fed you liars," O'Brien yelled to the jury. He soon apologized for his volume, but said the case makes him angry.

Brooks-McDonald focused on the evidence, as well as the testimony. He argued Daniels went through several explanations, never mentioning a gun or an accident early in the investigation.

He also noted the video, which showed the car's path, as well as the car stopping briefly after turning back to the road.
"What he was trying to do," Brooks-McDonald told the jury, "was get back at him for what Lavar did to him at the bar."

Judge Frank P. Milano is presiding.

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