Teen charged in 5-year-old cousin's murder

Teen charged in 5-year-old cousin's murder

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Family speaks out against man on trial

ALBANY The family of a man struck and killed on a bicycle is speaking out against the man on trial accused of his death.

Pablo Cruz was arrested back in 2012 after prosecutors say he struck and killed Paul Merges on a bike during a police chase and kept driving.

Testimony is expected to resume on Monday.

Statement from the Merges Family
"After witnessing Pablo Cruz and his defense counsel's attempt to place some degree of culpability for this horrendous incident upon the victim, our loved one Paul Jr., we feel compelled to address these despicable tactics.  While Mr. Cruz was recklessly fleeing from the police without the slightest regard for human life, Paul was riding a bicycle to his children's home a few blocks away in response to a family situation after having been out earlier that Friday evening.  Our family has already suffered tremendously because of Mr. Cruz's murderous rampage.  Paul was an innocent victim that was brutally killed at the hands of a dangerous recidivist criminal acting in a depraved and violent manner.  His lack of remorse coupled with defense counsel's irrelevant disparagement of Paul are deeply hurtful and reprehensible.
-The Merges Family"

"That the grieving Merges family chooses to vent in a public forum is understandable.  Dr. and Mrs. Merges have been personally present in the courtroom for virtually every proceeding.  I have never attempted to vilify or degrade their son.  Representation of Mr. Cruz, as any person on trial, requires a vigorous and thoughtful defense.  I have acknowledge my awareness of the tragic event and conducted myself with sensitivity to their loss."
Michael A. Feit, Esq.
Assistant Albany County Public Defender
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