Updated 11/04/2006 05:59 AM
Inmate testifies Oxley confessed in jail
Claims of a possible jailhouse confession spurred the prosecution to re-open its case. But before any testimony was heard Friday morning, the defense jumped to request a mistrial.
On Thursday, regular court proceedings were replaced by closed door meetings between the prosecution and defense to discuss new evidence. But the defense argued Oxley is entitled to a public trial and said those private deliberations needed to be on the record.
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The judge said they were and denied the motion for a mistrial. The prosecution called one former and one current inmate to the stand.
Former St. Lawrence County jail inmate Michael Bernsey claimed he heard Oxley and another inmate, Jamin Haggart, talk about the trial back in May while watching the television series, Prison Break. Bernsey, a St. Lawrence County Jail former inmate, said, "Jamin would ask what was going on with Wayne. And you know, that's the way Jamin is, you know, he'd ask what is going on with the trial?"
Next on the stand, Haggart, who is a former fellow inmate of Oxley's. He claims Oxley told him in jail about murder victim Bernard Trickey. Haggart, who is a New York Department of Corrections inmate, said, "Bernie kept short-changing him on crack cocaine and said he snapped. I told him he got emotional and needed to talk to someone. He was teary eyed, he was emotional. I told him you need to talk to someone."
During another conversation, Haggart said Oxley talked to him about the baseball bat police found in his basement one day after Trickey's murder. Haggart testified, "He told me why he didn't get rid of the ball bat. He didn't think John Shannon would have called police. He had called him to clean up a mess and he got scared."
Shannon lived on the same street as Oxley and was found dead in a mysterious house fire one month after the murder. The nature of that fire has not yet been explained. Court was adjourned early Friday afternoon for defense to prepare cross-examination.