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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Prosecutors Dismiss Self-Defense Argument in Schenectady Homicide Case


SCHENECTADY — The trial of a Schenectady man, Anthony Romero, 25, accused of the murder⁢ of ‍another man on Hulett Street in 2022, ⁤has begun with ⁣opening statements focusing on the question of self-defense.

Anthony Romero stands accused of the fatal shooting of 21-year-old⁢ Treavine L. Tate during the Memorial Day ‍weekend in 2022. Both the defense and ‌the prosecution have referred to a video of ⁤the incident, which is expected to be presented during the trial.

Romero‍ is‌ facing a​ primary charge of second-degree murder, ​along ⁢with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and one count ⁢of tampering with ‍physical evidence.

Mike Nobles, the Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney, informed the jury that Romero was engaged in a​ conversation‍ with ⁣an unarmed Tate when‌ he shot him multiple times,⁤ even ⁢after Tate ‌had fallen to the ground.

Nobles further stated that⁣ Romero fled the scene post-shooting and managed to evade ⁢the police​ for five months before he was finally ⁤apprehended.

“Upon his capture, Romero confessed to the killing of Tate to the law enforcement officers. He did this ⁢because he had no other option but to stop running and hiding, and he was ⁢still attempting to escape the consequences of his actions,” Nobles said.

Romero⁤ claimed to the Albany police officers who arrested⁣ him that he shot Tate in self-defense, according ⁤to ⁢Nobles.

The video evidence shows that Tate was unarmed, and Romero fired his weapon at least six times, hitting Tate four times, Nobles​ added.

“Romero, by his ‍own​ admission, ⁣is responsible for the killing,”⁤ Nobles said. “The video shows Romero shooting Tate, and the bullet is the cause of death,⁢ as you ‍will‍ hear from the medical examiner.”

Nobles argued that Romero had the chance to ‍walk away from ​the situation but chose not to. He⁢ suggested that Romero was ⁢motivated by jealousy ‍and anger, as his ex-girlfriend was⁢ now dating ​Tate.

“Romero initiated the interaction,” Nobles said. “He was the only one armed with a gun, and he was the one who drew the ‌weapon.⁣ Romero knew that Tate was unarmed. He admitted that. There was no physical altercation, no punches thrown.”

Romero’s defense attorney, Kyle Davis, argued that Romero was justified in shooting Trevine ⁢Tate that night.

“This was not a⁢ cold-blooded murder driven by jealousy. This was self-defense, plain and⁣ simple,” Davis said.

Davis stated that Romero was in fear for his life at the time of the incident. He explained that Romero was dating Tate’s ex-girlfriend, and Tate was⁣ dating​ Romero’s ex-girlfriend.

Romero was walking⁢ alone when he‌ encountered Tate and a group of his friends. This was a random encounter, Davis said.

“Tate was not pleased with what Romero was saying,” Davis said. “He was offended by⁣ something ‌Romero said about Tate’s ex-girlfriend, ⁢who was now ‌Romero’s girlfriend. Tate, ⁤who‍ had been drinking all day,⁤ had a glass bottle​ in his hand and⁢ began to show aggression⁢ towards Romero.”

Davis argued ⁣that Tate threatened Romero, prompting Romero to draw his illegal firearm.

“Romero pulled out his gun, aware of Tate’s reputation as a dangerous individual,”⁣ Davis ⁢said. “But at that moment, he did​ not shoot Tate. He ‍was using the⁢ gun defensively,‌ hoping that Tate would back down.”

As the ⁢conversation between Tate and Romero continued, ​Tate kept threatening Romero, Davis said.

“Eventually,​ Romero felt he⁢ had no ⁢other option but to shoot‌ Treavine Tate,” Davis ‍said. ​“There⁣ was no shooting while Tate was trying⁣ to escape, no shooting⁢ while‍ his back was turned. This shooting occurred⁤ because Romero saw the ​situation escalating, and at that point, ​he did not believe he could leave safely.”

Romero fired his weapon out of “pure fear and reaction” to the situation created by Tate, Davis said.

Romero turned down a⁤ plea deal last month. If he had accepted the deal and pleaded guilty, he would have served a predetermined sentence of 20 years-to-life. If the jury finds Romero guilty of the second-degree murder charge, ‍his sentence could range from 15 years to⁣ life​ to 25 years to life.

Witness testimonies in this trial are ⁣set to begin on Friday morning.

Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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