Jurors watch video deposition of teen accused in dad's murder

Posted at: 04/18/2014 11:03 AM
Updated at: 04/18/2014 5:41 PM
By: WNYT Staff

Trinity Copeland wipes away tears at the beginning of her murder trial in Troy.
Trinity Copeland wipes away tears at the beginning of her murder trial in Troy.
Photo: File/ WNYT

TROY - Rensselaer County jurors had the chance to see firsthand, Trinity Copeland's demeanor in the hours after her father's shooting death.

Copeland was 17-years-old when prosecutors say she shot her father in the head, as he slept on the couch in their Troy apartment

Jurors watched a video of Troy police questioning Trinity.

In it she appears very unemotional, at one point talking about TV shows and movies with the detective.

She did break down once in the video and the defense has been quick to point out that people deal with grief or shock in different ways.

According to video from the Troy Police Department, Trinity Copeland initially insisted an intruder broke into her Seventh Avenue home in Troy in July 2012 and shot her father.

However, about a half hour into the two hour police interview, the story changed and Trinity is seen on the tape telling detectives that she did it because Harlan Copeland, who was drunk, threatened to kill her if she didn't kill him first.

Testimony revealed Harlan Copeland was furious after Trinity admitted to stealing his bank card and spending $150 dollars of his money.

In the video, Trinity repeatedly tells the detectives she doesn't want her family to know because she's “not a killer.”

The proceedings on Friday ended with a reading of Trinity's grand jury testimony. Her narrative that day describes a similar scene to what she said to detectives in the hours after the shooting.  With one addition: Trinity told grand jurors back in August 2012 that she basically had no doubt in her mind that she was going to die -- she was terrified.

The prosecution will likely rest on Monday.

Then it's the defense's turn to call witnesses.

At the beginning of the trial, Trinity Copeland's attorney did say that she would take the stand.