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Testimony continued Tuesday in collision shop owner trial

Testimony continued Tuesday in collision shop owner trial

Eight people testified on Tuesday including John Cole's wife
Testimony continued Tuesday in collision shop owner trial
John Cole, center, arrives to Saratoga County Court after a lunch break during his trial on Monday, March 12, 2018.
Photographer: Erica Miller

HALFMOON — Deliberations continued Tuesday in the trial of John Cole who is facing four criminal charges following a March 2017 crash in Halfmoon.

Cole, owner of Cole's Collision in Colonie, is facing second-degree assault, second-degree vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving charges following a March 11, 2017 crash on Sitterly Road in Halfmoon. 

Passenger Deanna Shapiro was left paralyzed after the crash. 

On Monday, Saratoga County Court Judge James Murphy chastised Cole for a public relations campaign the judge suggested was aimed at highlighting Cole's company's philanthropic deeds in an effort to influence the outcome of his case.

Before Tuesday's deliberations began, Cheryl Coleman, Cole's attorney, motioned for a trial order of dismissal, which Saratoga County Court Judge James Murphy denied. 

Eight people testified on Tuesday including Cole's wife, Regina, and seven people who were with him on the night of the crash.

Cole, his wife and several friends had dinner at the Rusty Nail in Clifton Park before going to see a band play at Trick Shot Billiards and Sports Pub, also in Clifton Park. 

Once the band was finished at around midnight, Cole, his wife, and Scott and Deanna Shapiro left together to go back to the Cole's home. 

Regina said her husband "acted totally fine and was fine to drive" when they left Trick Shots. 

As the four of them were driving, Regina said she observed something blow from the road towards the car, which was traveling on Sitterly Road in Halfmoon.

She said she shouted her husband's name and Cole swerved before hitting a fire hydrant. 

Regina said neither of the Shapiro's were conscious after the crash. 

Rollin Demers said he went to Cole's home with his girlfriend before they headed to the Rusty Nail and said he didn't see Cole consume any alcohol in his home prior to leaving for the restaurant. 

While driving to the Rusty Nail, Demers told the court that he and his girlfriend drove behind Cole and witnessed Cole's two back tires wobbling. 

Demers added that he didn't tell Cole about the wobbling tires until after the crash occurred. 

"It was chaotic at the Rusty Nail and it slipped my mind," he told the court on Tuesday. "[My girlfriend] and I were very upset about it."

Demers said he saw Cole drink a lot of water at the Rusty Nail and that Cole had something clear and bubbly at Trick Shots. 

"It wasn't water, correct?," Assistant District Attorney Katherine DeMartin, the prosecutor in the case, asked Demers. 

"Correct," he said. 

State police previously said Cole had a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent at the time of the crash.

New York State Police Investigator Jeremy Shultis of the Troop G Collision Reconstruction Unit testified on Friday and said Cole's BMW was traveling at speeds as high as nearly 80 miles per hour. 

Deliberations are expected to resume on Wednesday. 

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