TROY, N.Y. – A 17-year-old upstate New York girl told police her angry father gave her an ultimatum early Friday: She could kill him or he’d kill her then himself.
Trinity Copeland told police she begged her father to change his mind and that neither one of them had to get hurt, but he insisted. So, she said, she used his handgun to shoot 47-year-old Harland Copeland once in the head in the apartment they shared in the industrial city on the Hudson River near Albany.
“He said that he was going to kill us both or I was going to have to kill him,” she told police in the statement released Friday. “I said that I don’t want to. He was like, then I’m going to kill you right now.”
Trinity Copeland was charged with second-degree murder and jailed without bail. It could not immediately be learned if she had a lawyer.
In her statement to police, Trinity Copeland said her father was angry because she used his ATM card to ring up charges of $122 and $32. She said he’d been drinking beer when the confrontation happened about 3 a.m. Friday.
“I said ‘No, no, no, no.’ Then he said ‘Take the gun’ and I took it,” Trinity Copeland said.
Trinity Copeland said that after pleading with her father once more, she felt she had no choice.
“He was like, ‘I’m not going to say it again.’ I was like, ‘Why do I have to kill you, why do I have to kill you?’ He said either way he was going to die and he was giving me a way out.”
Her father laid back on the couch.
“He said do it,” she told police. “I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry. Then I did it. I shot him.”
Troy police Capt. John Cooney said they have no reason to doubt Copeland’s story and that the evidence, including her statement, supported the second-degree murder charge.