By Will E Sanders
TROY — Jurors in the Patrick McGail murder trial deliberated for more than 6 hours Wednesday before going home for the evening. Jurors will resume deliberations Thursday morning.
Closing arguments were also delivered in the McGail murder case Wednesday in common pleas court regarding the Oct. 30 murder of Nathan Wintrow, 20, of Troy. Wintrow was shot in the head after two men in “V for Vendetta” masks entered his 218 E. Canal St., Troy, home in a robbery turned murder where money and marijuana served as a motive.
McGail, charged with murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and firearm specifications, testified Tuesday that he was never in the home on the night of the murder.
Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell cited a confession McGail made to his then-girlfriend on the night of the murder where McGail, now 18, of Troy, stated he was in Wintrow’s home with a co-defendant, that a gun was fired, and a body fell to the ground. Additionally, Kendell said McGail’s ex-girlfriend testified McGail told her he left his mask and a knife at the scene.
Calling the home invasion a “poorly conceived plan,” Kendell also reiterated to the jury that DNA evidence found on the mask and the knife belonged to McGail.
At the time, police did not release details regarding the knife or the mask to the public.
Also, Kendell acknowledged plea agreements by McGail’s co-defendants in the case, Jason C. Sowers, 17, and Brendon A. Terrel, 19, both of Troy. Those teens entered into substantial assistance agreements with the prosecution to testify against McGail at trial, which they did last week, but noted that they were “never told what to say.”
Kendell called Bucio’s closing arguments and allegations “an act of desperation” and described McGail’s testimony from the witness stand as “self-serving.”
“What they are trying to do is to get you to take your eyes off of the ball. All I am trying to do is talk about the facts of the case,” he said. “Who has more motivation to lie in this courtroom than (McGail)?”
Defense attorney Christopher Bucio told the jurors that his client was never in the house on the night of the murder. He leveled the real blame in the case against a well-known Troy drug dealer he alleged was the real ringleader.
McGail testified Tuesday he fled from the area where the robbery was staged on the night in question after the drug dealer took his knife, had a gun, and made threats against him.
Bucio, who said the state’s case was “miserable,” called the two co-defendants in the case “filthy liars” who threw McGail “under the bus” in order to get plea deals in exchange for their testimony against his client.
“He (Sowers) has to testify a certain way or he won’t get the deal,” Bucio said. “He (Sowers) had nothing to lose.”
Bucio further elaborated that the co-defendants were “using” his client and that authorities, who he maintained “rushed to judgment,” neglected to test crucial evidence in the case.
At times during his closing arguments, Bucio sat in the witness stand and other times he wadded up pieces of paper and threw them in the wastebasket — a symbolic gesture representing authorities declining to test certain evidence in the case.
“This room is filled with reasonable doubt right now,” Bucio concluded.
Sowers, who fired the fatal shot, and Terrel, who served as a look-out, have already been convicted for their parts in the murder of Wintrow. Both men, who said McGail was the “ringleader” and “mastermind” of the crime, are scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
Sowers and McGail were under the age of 18 at the time and are being tried as adults.
A total of 25 witnesses took the stand during the duration of the trial, now entering its seventh day.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.