Updated 11/30/2010 10:27 PM
Jury selection starting in Bailey murder trial
It's been more than two years since the tragic shooting death of UAlbany senior Richard Bailey devastated the school and the city. But with jury selection in his murder trial set to start Wednesday, our Solomon Syed takes a look at the case that rocked a community and previews what we'll see at trial.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- On October 22nd, 2008, Richard Bailey was doing what most college seniors do. The 22-year-old was out with some friends watching Monday Night Football. But on the way home, his life would take a tragic turn just four blocks from his apartment and leave a community in mourning.
"I think people have been captured by the victim in this case being a student walking home from watching a football game, being gunned down in the streets of Albany," said legal expert Paul DerOhennesian.
DerOhennesian says the overwhelming public interest could make choosing a jury difficult. The court already set aside extra time for the process as selection gets underway Wednesday.
"More than in many cases, the jurors will not want to sit on this case because they do have an opinion of this case," said DerOhennesian. "One of the reasons is because it remained unsolved for so long a period of time."
Almost a year later, in September 2009, police arrested three young men in connection with the killing: 20-year-old Devon Callicutt, 19-year-old Ricardo Caldwell and 18-year-old King Modest.
But Callicutt is now the lone defendant facing first degree murder charges after both Caldwell and Modest plead guilty to attempted first degree robbery in exchange for their testimony that Callicutt was the triggerman.
Callicutt's own words may be the most incriminating of all: In a letter he sent to a female friend from jail, he allegedly admits to the crime.
"Any type of admission or confession that's written by the defendant and not the police is much more damaging," said DerOhannesian.
Callicutt made other incriminating statements to police, but they are blocked from being admitted at trial.
If convicted, he could face life behind bars.