QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – A jury of eight men and four women will hear the trial of Alexander West, a Lake George man who faces 12 counts tied to a deadly boat crash on Lake George last summer.
The final four jurors and two alternates were chosen during the second day of jury selection Tuesday, one day before opening statements are scheduled to begin at the Warren County Courthouse. One of the original nine jurors selected Monday had been excused after court was adjourned in the afternoon.
According to prosecutors, the 24-year-old West was drunk and high on drugs when a boat he was driving crashed into another vessel on the night of July 25, leaving eight-year-old Charlotte McCue of California dead and her mother badly injured. West, who had four passengers on his boat at the time and was returning from Lake George’s annual “Log Bay Day” celebration, is also accused of leaving the scene of the accident and failing to report it.
West has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts, including the weightiest charge of second degree manslaughter. Leaving the courtroom Tuesday, defense attorney Cheryl Coleman said many of the facts of this case have been kept private during the seven months since the crash, but they will prove her client’s innocence when they are revealed during the trial.
"There are things that you don't know about that are going to open up a world of difference," Coleman said. "[The prosecution] had to really try to not make certain information come out. It's going to come out, it's going to come out starting tomorrow."
Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan declined comment Tuesday.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 9:30 Wednesday morning. Judge John Hall told jurors he expects the trial to last roughly three weeks. If convicted of all counts, West faces between 7 1/3 and 22 years in state prison.