Public Safety

Appeals Court Reinstates Overturned Brewerton Murder Conviction

By Christian Pedersen SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — A state court of appeals has found that state Supreme Court Justice John Brunetti was wrong in freeing a Brewerton man from his 2008 murder conviction.

The appeals court then restored Cody Backus’s murder conviction, Backus was serving 20 years before having his conviction overturned. He was found guilty of participating in a home invasion that resulted in the death of James Brennan Jr..

The basis for the overturn of the conviction was the 2012 testimony of a gang member who claimed that Backus’s had a smaller role in the murder than originally thought.

This new testimony led Judge Brunetti to overturn he conviction, an act the appeals court is now citing as an abuse of discretion.

Upon examining the new testimony the appeals court found that the new evidence was not sufficient to overturn the conviction since the testimony didn’t exonerate Backus as an accomplice, he is still guilty of murder under state law.