After four weeks of testimony, Kenneth Tyree’s fate is in the hands of the jury.
Tyree is charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide stemming from a deadly Jay Street apartment fire in March 2015 that killed four.
Tyree’s defense attorney stressed his client is not the person responsible, but says he is being unjustly blamed.
"I suggested it to you in my opening statement and I stand by that suggestion today that ... Mr. Tyree is a scapegoat," said defense attorney Michael Gaylord.
Prosecutors say the four deaths could have been prevented if Tyree did his job. Prosecutors argue Tyree lied when he said the apartment building's fire alarm system was working, just one day before the fire. They also say Tyree had a prior felony conviction which should have prevented him from being hired as a code enforcement officer.
"The defendant is not a scapegoat and this isn’t a witch hunt," said Assistant District Attorney Michael DeMatteo. "This was an investigation that took years to complete."
According to Gaylord, his client should never have been tasked with checking the fire alarm panel. He suggested a special certification was needed. DeMatteo disagrees. He showed the jury a photo of what the panel should have looked like -- which he says would have shown Tyree something was wrong.
"These are straightforward warnings. Look at them yourself," DeMatteo said. "Those warning lights clearly draw your attention to them. Think about it ... all he had to do was make a call if he didn’t know what he was looking for."
Tyree was emotional during the court proceedings. Now he will wait as the jury deliberates.