Day 2 of 2003 murder-robbery trial focuses on surveillance video


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Day two of the trial for Richard Wilbern — the man arrested for the 2003 robbery-homicide at the Xerox facility in Webster — continued briefly Friday morning and wrapped up just before noon.

Wilbern was arrested in 2016, 13 years after the crime was committed.

The trial began Thursday with opening statements. Both the prosecution and the defense said the case is about two things: identification and reliability of DNA evidence.

With DNA evidence and surveillance footage of the incident, prosecutors said Wilbern is guilty. Wilbern’s lawyers argued the DNA wasn’t handled properly, and the surveillance footage from 2003 is of too low quality to recognize the person in the video.

Three witnesses testified on Thursday, including a former Webster police officer who responded to the scene that day. The retired officer said when he left the force in 2013, there had been over 900 leads called in.

On day two, photos of the security footage were presented and prosecutors and Wilbern’s attorney questioned witnesses about the angle of the photos, the lighting and color, and if that could affect identifying the suspect in question.

In the robbery-homicide, two people inside the credit union were shot — 51-year-old Raymond Batzel of Lima was killed. Joseph Doud was shot in the shoulder but survived.

Prosecutors say Wilbern traveled overseas to Japan more than a dozen times before the robbery as part of a marijuana trafficking ring. According to court papers, two possible partners in that alleged ring are expected to testify.

Wilbern, an African-American, worked at Xerox in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He sued the company in 2000 for racial discrimination.

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