The lawyer for a man charged with murder for shooting a lifelong friend asked the judge today to convict him of a lesser offense while the prosecutor argued the man's drinking at the time of the fatal incident should not entitle him to such a break.
Adel McTier, 69, of Sundown Trail, Amherst, is on trial for second-degree murder for the Sept. 15, 2011 fatal shooting of Alton Sease after the two had spent hours drinking whiskey and beer together at Sease's Colorado Avenue home. Sease was trying to prevent McTier from driving home to Amherst under the influence of alcohol when McTier shot him, the prosecutors and defense lawyers have said.
"This isn't a murder case," defense attorney Joel L. Daniels said today in his summation.
McTier, a retired plumber who regularly carried a handgun, could not form intent to kill his friend because he was too intoxicated, so he should not be convicted of murder, Daniels said.
Daniels asked State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang to consider second-degree manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.
"We know we're not walking away from what happened," Daniels said. "Mr. McTier took the life of his closest and best friend. He owes a measure of criminal responsibility for his actions."
Prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush said McTier showed "selective amnesia" when he took the stand Friday in his own defense during the non-jury trial.
"This defendant would not even take responsibility for his actions," Hackbush said.
"Alcohol did not make this defendant murder his own friend," Hackbush said. "It was his decision to pull the trigger. It was his decision to kill his friend."
Wolfgang said she will render her verdict later Thursday.