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Western NY

Judge to Address Jury Issues Friday In Roommate Murder Case

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Rochester: Trial Continues in Roommate Murder Case
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It was Day Two in the case against Maxwell Wyant, a Brighton man accused of fatally shooting his former roommate.

It was a slow day of testimony, mainly surrounding the evidence that was both taken and photographed at the scene of the crime. Toward the end of the day, Judge Doug Randall cleared the courtroom to handle an issue with some jurors. Randall indicated the issues will be addressed Friday.

Only two witnesses made it on the stand: both Brighton Police officers who were among the first to arrive at Maxwell Wyant's home in Brighton.

Officer Renee Stickles was the first emergency responder to get to the house back on February 8th. She testified when she got there, Wyant was waving her on, telling her to hurry up.

That's when Stickles saw 21-year-old Christopher "CJ" Schoen lying on the ground. He'd been shot. Stickles said she tried to help but Schoen was already pale, cold, and not breathing.

Stickles is also a crime scene investigator, who throughout that evening, processed the scene photographing evidence in the home. She testified Thursday she found several guns, swords, a grenade, and hundreds of spent casings on the floor. She indicated the basement looked as if it were used for target practice.

Prosecutors say the day of the shooting, Schoen had gone to his former home to retrieve something he had left behind when he moved out. A friend, Matthew Mitchell, testified Schoen was upset when he saw his car's taillight had been broken. Schoen went into the house and soon after was shot.

Mitchell also testified Schoen had snorted bath salts before going to the house that day.

Officer Tim Karch took the stand Thursday afternoon. He collected a lot of evidence from the house and videotaped what it looked like that evening.

Karch was not finished testifying when Judge Randall cleared the room. The attorneys did not want to speak on camera. While no one explained clearly what happened, Judge Randall indicated there are still some issues with the jurors that are going to be addressed Friday.

The only thing that was said in open court is that jurors are told they should not listen to any media accounts of a case and that's normally enough to prevent them from doing so. We do not know if that was violated in some way.

Court will continue Friday morning.

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