Pablo Cruz trial continues with closing arguments

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Updated: 7/22 5:38 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – Deliberations began in the Pablo Cruz trial Tuesday.

Cruz is accused of driving drunk and speeding when he slammed into 45-year-old Paul Merges, who was riding his bike in November of 2012. Prosecutors argue that Cruz kept driving while Merges was pinned to his car.

Closing arguments took place on Tuesday as the defense argued that Cruz never saw Merges.

Defense Attorney Michael Feit argued it was dark out and there was no way Cruz could break or stop before the point of impact with the bicyclist. Feit went onto say his client's actions should not come down to a murder charge.

Feit also told the jury that the truck Cruz was driving did not hit any other parked cars on the road and he used his turning signals, which he says shows his client was not indifferent to human life. 

At one point on Tuesday, Feit questioned how Merges could not hear or see the police chase riding his bike.

The defense also talked about the street and the bike path, holding up photos for the jury to see, suggesting the bicyclist was not in the proper path. 

“There was a dark street, a curve, there's a bicyclist wearing dark clothing. There is no breaking before the point of impact. I submit to you that indicates the person did not see the bicyclist,” said Feit.

Cruz took the stand on Monday, telling the jury he was never there or behind the wheel the night of Merges’ death. However, Feit did not mention Cruz’s testimony on Monday morning. 

During the trial, prosecutors showed the jury dash cam video of the chase from Albany to Rotterdam. The video depicted that at some times, there were 10 police cruisers with their lights and sirens on during the pursuit.

"All the while thinking about how his windshield looked like. What he was looking through and that he had Paul hanging off the side,” said Assistant District Attorney Mary Tanner-Richter.

If convicted, the 40-year-old Schenectady man faces a number of charges which include murder and manslaughter.

The jury did not reach a verdict Tuesday and was sent home for the day. They're due back in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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