Double murder trial begins against former local water department employee

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The murder trial of Ted Mero began Monday with opening statements.

The former Albany Water Department employee stands accused of killing his former roommate and another woman whose body was found along a city water department access road. 

The prosecution claimed that Ted Mero killed his roommate Megan Cunningham in 2013. Her badly burned body was found after a fire at the Albany apartment they shared. 

They say when asked where he was during the fire, he told investigators that he needed to clear his head, took a drive and fell asleep in his car.

Fire officials determined to be accidental but the prosecution says that was because the investigation relied on Mero’s own statements.

The prosecution says Shelby Countermine was a heroin addict, who sold her body to feed her habit, and that Mero paid her several times for sex and that he admitted to being the last person to see Shelby after picking her up in his vehicle the day before she went missing. 

Her body was discovered in May of 2015 by a jogger along an Albany Water Department access path in Coeymans.

“Who works for the city of Albany Water Department? This defendant. Who was the last person to see and speak to Shelby? This defendant.

“Ladies and gentleman I don’t know because I wasn’t there and neither were they,” Cheryl Coleman, Mero’s attorney, said.

Mero’s attorney told the jury there wasn’t any proof that her client killed either woman.

That there were plenty of other men who could have been the last to see both women alive including Shelby’s boyfriend whom Coleman called Shelby’s pimp. 

As for the fire, Coleman said Megan was known to smoke cigarettes and marijuana. She again reminded the jury that it was determined to be accidental. 

“Not because I said so but because investigators from the Albany Police Department said so. Not cause I say so but because the fire investigators with the insurance company say so. Who you better believe would try to get out of anything about paying if they could?”

Witness testimony included a fire investigator. We are also expecting to hear from Shelby’s roommate and a woman who says Mero made incriminating statements during a date with him.

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