Opening statements given in triple murder retrial

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Opening statements began Monday in the murder retrial of Matthew Slocum, the man accused of killing his family in 2011 and lighting their home on fire.

Two very different accounts were delivered of what happened when Dan and Lisa Harrington and Joshua O’Brien were murdered in their White Creek home. The prosecution said it was Matthew Slocum, but the defense blamed someone else.

“The second tragedy is the monstrous description that Loretta Colegrove is playing out here,” Slocum’s attorney Michael Mercure said.

Mercure told the jury that police had a gender bias and overlooked Colegrove, Slocum’s then-girlfriend, in the shooting deaths of his mother, stepfather and stepbrother. He said she had a severe drug and alcohol problem and was angry and violent.

“Not only was Loretta wearing the shirt that had small droplets of Lisa Harrington’s blood on it, but Lisa Harrington’s bloody wallet was found underneath the front passenger’s seat of the Ford Mustang right where Loretta was sitting,” he said.

The defense, however, said Slocum and only Slocum is responsible for the murders. The defense claims Colegrove was just a witness.

“The evidence will show that she walked out and saw the living room, the defendant looming over Josh with a shotgun in his hand, and Josh, you will hear, had his arm up, his mouth open as if ready to say something,” special prosecutor Eric Galarneau said.

Galarneau asked the jury to find Slocum guilty once again of murder saying Slocum tried to hide evidence when he allegedly lit the home on fire and took off.

Slocum’s original conviction was overturned when a judge determined that statements he made to police should not have been presented.

“This was a nightmare of his making that he conceived, that he planned it, and that he executed it,” Galarneau said.

Multiple witnesses were called to testify on Monday, including a neighbor who said he heard gun shots coming from the Harrington home.

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