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Whyte in court as second murder trial begins

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Whyte in court as second murder trial begins
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A second trial begins for an Ithaca man charged with murder. Corbin Whyte is accused of shooting and robbing a man in a parking lot near Cornell University. Tamara Lindstrom has the details of the case.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- It's been two years since 47-year-old Paul Garcia was found shot dead in an Ithaca parking lot.

Police say the December 2010 killing started as an argument over drugs and a woman. The man accused is 28-year-old Corbin Whyte, Garcia's neighbor at the Maple Hill Apartment complex.

Whyte has been charged with two counts of second degree murder, robbery and tampering with physical evidence and this isn't the first time he's gone to trial. After five days of deliberations, Whyte's last trial ended with a hung jury in May.

But on Monday, opening statements started again, with the prosecution vowing to prove Whyte's involvement, while his attorney said no evidence links him to the crime.

Both district attorneys Andrew McElwee and defense attorney James Baker pointed out that there are no eyewitnesses to the actual shooting. But on Monday, a neighbor testified he saw Whyte with Garcia as the victim fell to the ground. The neighbor said he awoke around 1 a.m. to see Garcia hunch over, with Whyte reaching his hands into Garcia's coat. The witness testified that another man was there, but fled, and Whyte soon followed.

The jury was shown pictures of the crime scene and evidence collected and heard from first responders as well. The first of many witnesses to be called over the next two weeks as attorneys battle it out once again.

The prosecution will continue to call witnesses Tuesday.

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