Trial for man accused of killing bicyclist during chase begins

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Updated: 7/15 6:36 am

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The trial for a Schenectady man, who is accused of hitting and killing a bicyclist while leading police on a chase, completed jury selection Monday.

Pablo Cruz, 40, is accused of driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit while drunk in November 2012.

Investigators say he ignored an officer trying to pull him over, leading them on a chase from Albany to Rotterdam. During the chase, police claim Cruz hit bicyclist, 45-year-old Paul Merges, on Manning Boulevard and he continued with the victim still attached to the truck.

At the time of the incident, police say that Cruz was sometimes driving in excess of 90 miles per hour, driving over the double yellow lines, and at times, almost striking marked police units.

Cruz's vehicle stopped in the vicinity of Curry Road in the Town of Rotterdam and he allegedly failed to comply with police officers commands to exit the vehicle. Cruz is also accused of fighting with numerous officers who were attempting to take him into custody.

Cruz has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges against him, which include murder and manslaughter charges.

Jury selection is took place Monday morning. The prosecution, assistant district attorney and defense attorney questioned each potential juror to see if they were fit for the trial.

The attorneys want to make sure the prosecution does not have to show intent because the trial is what they called a “depraved indifference murder,” and the defense also wants jurors to know if they have reasonable doubt to deliver a not guilty verdict.

Opening statements are expected to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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