Guilty verdict in Wells murder trial

Posted at: 03/21/2013 6:01 PM
Updated at: 03/22/2013 8:11 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann


SCHENECTADY - 33-year-old James Wells showed little emotion as a jury pronounced him guilty on 11 charges, including murder.

"...as to count one, how do you find the defendant in murder in the second degree?"

"Guilty," replied the jury member.

Emotions, spilling into the hallway following the verdicts from the family of murder victim Eddie Stanley.

Stanley's mother said the conviction in the shooting death of her 15-year-old son, closes a painful chapter.

"Happy emotions. Very happy emotions. Now my baby can sleep in peace," sobbed Tanisha Stanley.

Prosecutors said Wells, an admitted drug dealer and Bloods gang member from Brooklyn, shot Stanley at a house party in 2011 in a fit of rage, during an argument over missing car keys.

"When we convict someone like James Wells for this kind of crime, I think we have saved lives. I think he would kill other people," said Philip Mueller, Chief Assistant District Attorney.

Wells testified in his own defense, saying he pulled out a .357 caliber handgun when shots were fired, but that someone else must have shot the murder weapon, a .44 caliber revolver. The jury didn't buy it.

"We knew we faced a situation where five people said they saw the shooting. We knew we faced a situation where numerous other people said he told them about it," said Cheryl Coleman, defense attorney.

For Stanley's mother, the verdict is bittersweet relief, bringing Eddie's killer to justice.

"All 11 counts and he deserved every last one of them and that's all I gotta say," Stanley sobbed.

Wells faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in late May.