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Looking ahead as Rideout trial nears conclusion

July 16, 2017 11:17 PM

It's taken the prosecution in the Craig Rideout murder trial to lay out all the evidence against the suspects, but much of it is circumstantial. With the end of the trial of Craig's estranged wife Laura, her sons Colin and Alex Rideout, and her boyfriend Paul Tucci nearing, here's a recap, as well as what legal experts feel could make or break the case.

It was last July when father-of-seven Craig Rideout was hit on the head and strangled in the basement of his Penfield townhouse.

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That's where the prosecution says the murder weapon- a garrote- was found in a garbage bag.

The blood on the handles matched the victim, and there was blood from someone else on them, but not enough to determine a match, according to a DNA expert. 

Jurors saw a pair of bloody wranglers, size 29 by 30, and a pair of boxer shorts with blood from Craig Rideout. An expert, though, said blood and DNA from Colin Rideout was also detected on both items. 

They also saw jeans, size four, with blood spatter on the leg. The expert said DNA from the waistband and a Diet Coke bottle found near garbage bags in the basement came from Laura Rideout.

Former New York State Supreme Court Judge, Joseph Valentino, says the DNA testimony could be critical. 

"Jurors want that kind of evidence due to what they've seen on television, books and movies and things of that nature,' he says, "So I do think they believe it, but there are questions as to the accuracy of DNA evidence and I'm sure they will consider everything." 

There were also gloves shown to jurors, with many of them covered with Craig Rideout's blood. There were also lots of other bloody clothing, experts detected Paul Tucci's DNA on one pair and Alex Rideout's DNA on sweatpants. 

Does it prove murder? Or perhaps tampering with evidence? Remember, police say the body was moved from Penfield and dumped in Yates County. 

"There is no eyewitness testimony," says Valentino, "There is no testimony indicated one particular defendant that committed the crime of murder so the jurors have to decide the case on all the evidence, and much of the evidence may be circumstantial, but circumstantial evidence is the same as direct evidence." 

Judge Valentino says the jury can convict on circumstantial evidence, but he also says they can't just lump them all together as a group. The guilt or innocence of each person will have to be considered separately. 

Closing arguments could begin on Monday afternoon, and will likely go into Tuesday. 

Credits

Rebecca Leclair

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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