October 19, 2015

Friends of Jones ’15, Forensic Pathologist Testify in Cayea Trial

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With testimony underway for the murder trial of Benjamin Cayea, which began Friday morning, Glenna Dunaway, Shannon Jones’s ’15 psychotherapist, brought to light numerous incidents of violence between Cayea and Jones.

Dunaway said Jones had spoken to her about multiple altercations, including a May 2014 incident where Jones said Cayea choked her, according to The Ithaca Journal. Additionally, James Terzian, a forensic pathologist, testified that Jones’ death was a homicide, according to The Ithaca Voice.

Cayea is on trial for the second degree murder of Jones last November. In the opening arguments, the defense said there “was no question” that Cayea caused Jones’ death by asphyxiation in her Cayuga Heights apartment, but urged the jury to focus on “the question of intent.”

Dunaway testified that she had been counseling Jones for two years before her death, according to The Journal. During those two years, Cayea had also had attended a few sessions with Jones, in which he discussed with her his violent actions and that he was “shocked by his assaulting her.”

“He felt terrible about it,” Dunaway said.

Dunaway further said Cayea was in favor of splitting up after the May 2014 incident, but that they did not stay separated for long. Further testimony revealed that Cayea had moved into Jones’ apartment in October 2014, just a month before her death.

According to The Journal, the jury was then shown images of Jones’ body and video of her apartment as evidence. The 911 dispatcher and several law enforcement officials took the stand to recount the incident.

Additionally, witnesses that knew Jones testified on her behalf, and the court was shown a video of Cayea and investigator Kevin Bowen’s hour-long interview following the murder.

“I lost my shit, and I killed my girlfriend,” Cayea said in the video.

Matthew Van Houten, Cayea’s defense attorney, said immediately following Monday’s proceedings that Cayea would testify on Tuesday, according to The Journal. He also said that Monday’s witnesses did not accurately reflect the narrative.

“There are two sides to every story,” he said. “And while I can’t blame those witnesses for their testimony, they certainly didn’t have both sides of the story.”

Van Houten said he hopes that the jury will see “who Ben [Cayea] is” through Tuesday’s proceedings and testimony. He also said he will call three witnesses to the stand, and that after Tuesday, the trial will be over.