Criminal Justice

Did suspect say he 'shot the dude' or 'shut the door'? Transcript error revealed by accidental recording

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Lawyers for a brother and sister accused in a double murder are seeking dismissal of an indictment after a court reporter apparently botched an important statement by a grand jury witness.

The error was revealed because the court reporter in Onondaga County, New York, accidentally switched on an audio recording during the grand jury proceedings, reports.

In the court reporter’s transcript, 13-year-old Brendell Elmore says he “shot the dude.” But the audio recording reveals that Brendell really said he “shut the door,” the prosecutor has acknowledged.

Brendell was expected to be the star witness in the upcoming trial of his older brother and sister. According to prosecutors, Brendell allegedly helped his brother, Treamon Elmore, carry out the drug-related murders that had been set up by their sister, Jazzmin.

Defense lawyer Ben Coffin argued Monday that the whole grand jury transcript has been called into question by the inaccurate statement. His own review of the transcript caught other errors, although they were much less serious, he said.

A judge will hold a hearing Wednesday to consider the request. The trial is scheduled to begin March 2.

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