Thursday, July 9, 2009
It Happened On Long Island
Defendant: Colin Ferguson
Crimes Charged: Murder, attempted murder
Chief Defense Lawyers: Colin Ferguson, Alton Rose
Chief Prosecutor: George Peck
Judge: Donald Belfi
Place: Mineola, New York
Date of Trial: January 26-February 17, 1995
Verdict: Guilty on 68 of 93 counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, weapons possession
Sentence: 6 consecutive 25-years-to-life terms for the murder conviction; 19 additional 25-year
In a nationally publicized trial involving a defense that could only be described as bizarre, Colin Ferguson, acting as his own attorney, questioned his alleged victims on the witness stand in an attempt to prove that someone else had committed the crimes.
On December 7, 1993, the daily 5:13 P.M. Long Island Rail Road train left Penn Station in New York City for Hicksville, New York, carrying commuters home. As the train raced into neighboring Nassau County, one of the passengers rose and walked calmly down the aisle, shooting everyone he passed with a 9mm handgun. When the shooter paused to reload, terrified passengers wrestled him down. By then, six people lay dead or dying. Nineteen more were seriously wounded.