Trial begins in Oneida Castle homicide

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The County Court trial for one of the men charged in a homicide in Oneida Castle began on Monday. The co-defendant is not expected to go to trial until sometime possibly next year, according to court officials.

Jury selection began Monday morning for Romero Collier, 23, of Syracuse, charged with shooting and killing 22-year-old Tyler McBain in his home on Seneca Avenue on Aug. 4, 2020. Collier is charged with one count each of first and second-degree murder, first and third-degree robbery and first-degree criminal use of a firearm.

According to court officials, the jury was seated by 2 p.m. Monday and opening statements were held Monday afternoon. Collier is represented by defense attorney Paul Carey, of Syracuse. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Coluzza is prosecuting. Judge Michael L. Dwyer is presiding.

Authorities said at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 4, 2020, Collier and co-defendant Travon Golden, 22, of Canandaigua, traveled to McBain’s home in Oneida Castle and stole 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana from McBain. Authorities said Collier shot McBain once, and the bullet hit him in the arm and then traveled into his chest.

A neighbor living below McBain heard the scuffle, saw at least one man fleeing the house and gave state police a description of two men fleeing in a black SUV. Authorities said the vehicle crashed just off the Thruway in Seneca County and Golden was taken into custody near the crash. Collier was taken into custody days later.

Collier’s trial is expected to last through the week. He faces a maximum of life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Meanwhile, Golden is not expected to go to trial until possibly 2022, court officials said. The New York State Unified Court System decided that Oneida County could not hold a joint trial due to the pandemic. Golden is charged with one count each of second-degree murder and first and third-degree robbery.

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