Posted at: 04/23/2014 9:43 AM
Updated at: 04/24/2014 9:12 AM
By: WNYT Staff
Photo: File/ WNYT
TROY - With the words guilty from a Rensselaer County Jury, Trinity Copeland put her head down as she wiped away tears. The 18 year-old former Troy High School student was on trial for killing her father Harlan Copeland, 47.
"Frankly I was very surprised that the jury reached a guilty verdict as quickly as they did," said Copeland's defense attorney Michael Feit.
Feit said the jury had many issues to take into consideration, including a long video interview with police that the prosecution said was probably the strongest piece of evidence in the case.
"I think it was the interview that the detectives did where she came up with story after story after story, was broken down," said Rensselaer County Prosecutor Shane Hug.
Hug said Copeland showed no concern over her father. He said the fact that she took the stand in her own defense probably didn't go over well with the jury either.
"I think they were able to see her demeanor which I think is an important part for somebody to determine someone's credibility," Hug said.
Copeland testified that her father drank frequently and was out of control. She admitted to taking out cash on her father's debit card. She said her drunk father took out his gun back in July 2012 and threatened to kill her and himself if she didn't kill him. She told the court she was pleading and in fear. She shot him in the head with a rifle.
"This jury for whatever reason,decided that that threat was not eminent. That threat was not something that justified her in doing it," Feit said.
Feit plans to file an appeal in this case. Copeland is locked up in the Rensselaer County Jail. She'll be sentenced on May 29th. She faces 15 years to life in prison on the murder conviction.