February 17, 1995 in Nation/World

Police, Survivors Conspired To Frame Him, Says Massacre Suspect

Associated Press

The man accused of killing six people and wounding 19 others on a crowded commuter train portrayed himself Thursday as the victim of a conspiracy by police and survivors of the massacre.

The Long Island Rail Road riders who lived through the Dec. 7, 1993, rampage cooperated with a police plan to identify him as the gunman, Colin Ferguson told jurors in his closing argument.

Ferguson acted as his own attorney throughout his three-week trial after rejecting an insanity defense and dumping his lawyer.

After closing arguments, the judge began giving jurors instructions late Thursday.

Ferguson’s strategy of blaming the victims infuriated their families, and many of them walked out of the courtroom during his summation.

The defendant, wearing a new blue suit and making eye contact with jurors, delivered a rousing, somewhat rambling plea for an innocent verdict at the end of his three-hour address.

“I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, to look at this entire summation in context,” he implored. “Come back with a verdict of not guilty. That would be the most joyful day, I believe, for me and for yourselves.”

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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