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February 5, 2014

No verdict Tuesday in Donah trial

PLATTSBURGH — A second day of deliberations brought no verdict in Trevor J. Donah’s rape trial.

The state trooper, 33, is accused of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse, both felonies, and five misdemeanors: two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and one charge of second-degree unlawful imprisonment in connection with a former girlfriend.

On Tuesday, the 10-man, two-woman jury asked for a read-back of the testimony of Mary Jill Shumway, Donah’s aunt, in its entirety.

Shumway had testified that she had witnessed his rough treatment of the woman as they wrestled and that she and her brother, Daniel Yando, had talked to him, attempting to get him to seek help.

Shumway also told the court that Donah’s ex had texted her following the alleged rape, then told her about it on the phone.

The court reporter also read some of the defense’s questioning of the former girlfriend to the jury until the court recessed for lunch, just before noon.

About four jurors took notes intermittently during that testimony.

When court resumed at 1:15 p.m., jurors said they were satisfied with what had been read in the morning, and the rest of the woman’s testimony was not repeated for them.

TWO OTHER REQUESTS

At about 3:30 p.m., the jury requested that Judge Patrick McGill provide them with a written definition of first-degree sexual abuse.

While McGill is not permitted to do that in writing, he did read the jury the definition aloud in the courtroom.

Then, about 10 minutes before court was scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m., the jury produced another note asking to hear the cross-examination testimony of Donah’s ex-girlfriend relating to the man she was dating in September 2012, when, she said, Donah had raped her.

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