Friday was the first day for the defense to present its case in the trial for Gloria Nelligan. YNN's Karen Tararache has the latest.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Public defender Mark Caruso began day one of the defense of Gloria Nelligan. He claims there isn't enough evidence to charge Nelligan with second degree murder and first degree manslaughter in the death of her grandson, Sha-hiim.
Judge Karen Drago dismissed the claim and the defense called Walter Simpkins, 64, to the stand. As former president of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, he met Nelligan, her four children and Sha-hiim at various events. Simpkins testified that Nelligan was known for the trait of peacefulness in the community.
Next on the stand, Judith Atchinson, 72, creator of an after school program for inner city children called "X-Quest." Describing herself as a friend of 15 years, Atchinson called Nelligan, "A continual part of the community in a strong and helpful way. She was a good neighbor, good friend and helpful to the community at large."
She also described the relationship between the grandmother and grandson as "full of love and concern for the betterment of Sha-hiim's life and his future."
In a cross examination, the prosecution asked if Nelligan took part in a club Atchinson created to provide an outlet for grandparents and parents having a tough time raising their children. Atchinson replied, "Nelligan was one of the founding members."
The trial resumes Monday at 9 a.m. in Schenectady County Court.