Opening Statements Made in Murder Trial of Benjamin Cayea

The murder trial of Benjamin Cayea began Friday morning, with both sides presenting their opening statements at the Tompkins County Courthouse. The 33-year-old Cayea is accused of strangling his girlfriend Shannon Jones ’15 on Thanksgiving last year, and was indicted on charges of murder in the second degree in December. After Judge Joseph Cassidy, the judge presiding over the trial, reminded the jury — comprised of eight men and four women — that opening statements are not testimony and should not be considered as evidence, Assistant District Attorney for Tompkins County Diane Lama opened for the prosecution. “‘I lost my shit, and I killed my girlfriend.’ Those were the words of the defendant Benjamin Cayea on Nov. 27, 2014, just several hours after he strangled and suffocated 23-year-old Shannon Jones to death,” she said.

Cayea Faces Trial for Shannon Jones ’15 Murder Friday

Jury selection for the trial of Benjamin Cayea — a 32-year old accused of murdering his girlfriend Shannon Jones ’15 in her home last Thanksgiving — began Tuesday in Tompkins County Court. His trial is expected to begin Friday. Benjamin Cayea allegedly strangled Jones, an independent major in the College of Engineering, in her Cayuga Heights home on Nov. 27. He was indicted with one count of second-degree murder on Dec.