PULASKI, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Oswego County man accused of murdering his 17-year-old stepson was nearly thrown out of his own murder trial Tuesday for apparently vile comments he allegedly made toward the prosecutor.
Anthony Waldron, accused of neglecting 17-year-old Jordan Brooks, is “on thin ice,” the judge told him at the start of Tuesday’s proceeding.
The exact statements were not repeated publicly in court, but the judge described them as “violent, troubling and disturbing.”
They were made toward one of the two prosecutors, Oswego County Assistant District Attorney Courtney Venditte.
Waldron, who’s currently free on bail and is allowed to go home at night, was threatened with being sent to jail.
Waldron’s niece, who’s been a spectator in the courtroom, was accused of making similar remarks. She was called up to the podium by the judge and was also scolded.
Waldon’s attorney, Sal Lanza, apologized to his opposing counsel.
When the trial was allowed to resume, the jury was called in. They heard from the former Onondaga County Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert Stoppacher.
Dr. Stoppacher didn’t conduct Brooks’ autopsy but is often hired by lawyers to do his own analysis of the findings.
After Stoppacher was cross-examined, the prosecution rested its case. The defense began calling witnesses Tuesday afternoon.
The first, and maybe only, person called was Waldron’s wife, Lisa Waldron, the boy’s biological mother.
Lisa Waldron plead guilty to her son’s death last month and is already serving her state prison sentence.
She’s hoping her plead of guilt to manslaughter will be enough to take the blame off her husband.
The defense’s strategy is to convince the jury that Anthony had been a helpful stepfather until injuries from a car crash made him unable to care for Jordan Brooks and that Lisa became the sole care-taker.
“I took over Anthony’s role,” said Lisa. “No, I loved it,” she said when asked if she harbored any hard feelings. She called their roles “an unsaid agreement.”
At cross examination, the prosecution tried to show the jury that despite Lisa’s caretaking role, Anthony still should be liable for the teen’s neglect.
When asked why she took the plea agreement, Lisa said, “So I wouldn’t have to go through a trial and I thought it would be better for him.”
If Lisa Waldron is the defense’s only witness, closing arguments could happen Wednesday.