Alleged love triangle at center of attempted murder case
Closing arguments in an attempted murder trial concluded in an Anchorage courtroom Thursday afternoon.
Christian Beier is accused of shooting Caia Delavergne and Conor Lally in October of 2015. Despite serious injuries both Delavergne and Lally survived, although Delavergne lost her eye as a result.
During the trial, the defense has described this as a crime of passion. Everyone involved was in their late teens or early 20s at the time of the shootings. Defense attorney Gary Soberay told the jury that Beier and Delavergne were dating and that Beier became incensed when he believed his friend, Conor Lally was sleeping with Delavergne. Soberay said his client might be guilty of assault but not attempted murder since the shootings were fueled by extreme passion.
But, on Thursday morning, District Attorney Christina Sherman said the passion defense wouldn't fly for several reasons. She told the jurors the shooting happened several hours after Beier found Delavergne and Lally in a bedroom together fully clothed. She said Beier had plenty of time to cool off before he shot both victims.
She also argued that Delavergne and Beier were never in a relationship.
The distinctions could prove important. Sherman said if the jury decides the shooting meets the legal criteria for a crime of passion charges would drop from attempted murder to attempted manslaughter. Attempted manslaughter has a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail while the sentence for attempted murder could range from five to 99 years. Beier is also charged with assualt. Sherman said the sentencing maximum for that charge is twenty years in prison.
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