Lawyers on both sides of Wilfred Labossiere's murder case sent jurors the same message before deliberations start Friday: Go to the videotape.
An iPhone was recording video when gunfire ended Christopher Mullings' life in November 2012 after an argument in Elmont. "Please, take this into the jury room. Look at it over and over and over again," Assistant District Attorney Martin Meaney said in closing arguments yesterday in Nassau County Court.
Mullings, 29, an Army veteran and father of two, had gifted the phone to his younger brother days before he died.
The sibling started a recording when he saw Labossiere arguing with Mullings, capturing a piece of evidence that both sides consider key.
Labossiere, of Far Rockaway, could spend 25 years to life in prison if jurors find him guilty of second-degree murder.
The prosecution has portrayed Labossiere's actions as those of a cold-blooded killer, saying he fired multiple bullets at an unarmed man and took time to re-aim before the fatal shot.
"It's not bang, bang, bang. It's intentional. It takes time. It takes effort," Meaney said.
But defense attorney Anthony Grandinette worked to convince jurors that Labossiere, 33, was acting in self-defense because he feared for his life.
"This was spontaneous combustion," he said of Labossiere's actions on the video.
He said Mullings was the initial physical aggressor, who struck the first blow, mentioned a gun and reached in his pocket before Labossiere reacted because he couldn't safely retreat.
"And then, in the heat of that moment, in two seconds, a reaction," Grandinette said.
It happened at the home of Sandra Clarke, the maternal grandmother of Labossiere's 3-year-old son.
Testimony showed the deadly dispute broke out after Labossiere found out Mullings' younger brother was earning money baby-sitting the child.
It showed Labossiere wanted his child's mother to see if he was available to mind his son before hiring a baby-sitter.
A bullet ripped through Clarke's abdomen when gunshots rang out after she tried to keep Labossiere and Mullings apart, and Labossiere then drove her to a hospital before fleeing.
The defense has said he was on his way to surrender when officers stopped and arrested him.
But the prosecution has said that by then it was too late to change what had happened.
"We're here for what happened in the past," Meaney said of the shooting. "We are responsible for our actions."