Barone Accuses Prosecution Of Delaying Proceedings In Attempt To “Undermine” Defense In Waggoner Trial

Livingston Avenue murder suspect David Waggoner appears in court. 03/22/19. Image by Matt Hummel/WNYNewsNow.

MAYVILLE – Day seven of the David F. Waggoner murder trial ended at around 2:30 p.m. Friday, but not before Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone’s accusation that the numerous delays in the trials are because of Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson and his team.

Barone, who’s representing Waggoner, said that the delays are “clearly calculated to undermine the defense.”

Waggoner, of Jamestown, is charged with second-degree murder in the July shooting of Jamestown man William J. Michishima. Barone, however, has attempted to prove throughout the trial that Waggoner acted to protect himself and his family.

Throughout the trial, Judge David Foley has thanked the 12 jurors for their cooperation despite the delays due to objections, sidebars, chamber discussions, review of evidence, etc. Foley, in addition, has stated multiple times to the jury that trials don’t progress as quickly as they do on fictional television crime shows.

WNYNewsNow reached Swanson for comment regarding Barone’s comments, which occurred on the record after the jury was dismissed, by phone later Friday afternoon. Swanson declined to comment, citing that the trial remains ongoing.

Barone called numerous witnesses stands on Thursday and Friday as “offers of proof,” which means that the witness would testify in front of the court without the jury present. The offers of proof allow the judge to review what testimony the witness would provide to the jury, and if the testimony would be relevant for the jury to consider.

On Thursday, UMPC Hamot Registered Nurse (RN) Jennifer Devon and Colin Gibbs (former neighbor of Michishima) testified as offers of proof. Judge Foley, however, ruled that the two couldn’t testify in front of the jury. On Friday, Robert Clark (friend of Michishima, current inmate at Chautauqua County Jail) and Bryan Sleight (briefly lived with Michishima) also weren’t allowed to testified in front of the jury.

Barone also called George Walsh III to testify. Walsh III said he’s an RN for UPMC Chautauqua who specializes in inpatient mental health and substance abuse cases. After a sidebar between Foley and both parties, Walsh was dismissed with Barone reserving the right to recall Walsh at a later time.

Jamestown Police Officer John Conti testified later Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning. Conti testified that he was the one who transported Waggoner to JPD’s headquarters and placed him into an interrogation room. A video, which lasted about five minutes, was played Friday morning for the jury.

In the video, interaction between Conti and Waggoner occurred shortly before Jamestown Police Capt. Robert Samuelson arrived to conduct his interview. Waggoner indicated to Conti that he was sleep deprived because of fears of Michishima.

“I haven’t been to f****** bed in two days because of him,” Waggoner told Conti. Conti indicated that he didn’t know the condition of Michisima when Waggoner asked.

Barone said, throughout his case, that he’s trying to prove that Michishima was the “initial aggressor.” Foley has stated multiple times that Barone has to prove that Waggoner knew about Michishima’s alleged propensity for violence.

Court will resume Tuesday in Chautauqua County Court at 9:30 a.m.

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