The Sauquoit woman accused of murdering her boss was found guilty of a lesser charge. Now, both the defense and the prosecution are speaking out.
It's been two days since Kaitlyn Conley was convicted of first degree manslaughter...a charge her defense attorney said never should have been introduced.
"They changed their theory from intentional murder to manslaughter in the first degree. That's called a constructive amendment of an indictment which is not allowed," said Frank Policelli, Conley's Defense Attorney.
But Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said this argument doesn't hold true. Prosecutors began and ended the trial with the same argument...that Kaitlyn Conley intentionally poisoned Dr. Mary Yoder.
"We're not changing our theory and the only person that benefited from this is Kaitlyn Conley because she will not serve a life sentence now. She will serve a determinate sentence and she could serve as little as five years or up to 25 years," McNamara said.
McNamara said it's standard procedure for the judge to ask the defense and the prosecution if they have any requests for charges, once both of the cases have rested.
"It's kind of unique that this argument is even being made when this happens every day," McNamara said.
But the defense said this isn't one of those cases.
"This isn't your regular, run of the mill case. Doesn't matter if it's introduced into other cases," Policelli said.
The prosecution introduced the lesser included charge of manslaughter following concerns that the jury would struggle with the differences between wanting to cause serious physical injury (manslaughter charge) to Mary and wanting to kill her (murder charge.)
"I don't know what the jury thought but we were thinking that maybe the jury might think that maybe she's just really sadistic and likes to get people really really sick and close to death but not necessarily kill them," McNamara said.
The prosecution and defense both had the opportunity to introduce a lesser charge.
"But the reality is he could of asked for assault in the third degree and the judge would have had to give it, and he didn't so he rolled the dice," McNamara said.
And Policelli said, this was never an option.
"Why would i? If she's not guilty of anything, why would I ask for a lesser included charge," Policelli said.
From here, Conley will hear her sentence on January 11. The defense plans to then take the case to an appeals court in rochester.
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