SCHUYLER COUNTY (WETM-TV)- The New York State Court of Appeals has denied Alice Trappler’s application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals. This decision effectively exhausts Trappler’s state court appeal remedies.
Trappler was convicted in Schuyler County Court in 2013 for the slaying of Daniel Bennett in his Beaver Dams home. Bennett was the father of Trappler’s child and was supposed to be in Steuben County Family Court on a paternity matter the morning after he was murdered.
Trappler conspired with Thomas Borden (her ex-husband) to kill Bennett.
Through investigation, law enforcement determined that Trappler had provided the murder weapon – a sawed off shotgun – to Borden shortly before he killed Bennett. Significant proof of Trappler’s guilt was adduced at trial in the form of text messages between Trappler and Borden and GPS coordinates. In one message Trappler told Borden, “Just talked to jeff…aholes been fishing till ju[s]t [sic] now.”
Borden later tells Trappler, “Watching tv now mayb asleep in an hour.” Trappler responded, “Think we should stop txting…towers traceable??…U tried to serve…” GPS coordinates proved that Borden was in the vicinity of Bennett’s home when this exchange occurred. In the early morning hours after Bennett was murdered and shortly before Bennett was to be in Family Court, Trappler texted Borden, “Wonder if he will show up this time lol.”
During the investigation, Borden was located by police just outside of Philadelphia. When apprehended, he escaped from the clutches of the police and jumped in front of a commuter train resulting in his death.
Trappler proceeded to trial where a Schuyler County jury found her guilty in a little over four hours.
Trappler appealed to the New York State Appellate Division, Third Department in the fall of 2018.
Her appeal was denied in April of this year. In her application for leave to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeals, Trappler’s lawyer argued that the Appellate Division erred in affirming her conviction.
Specifically, counsel argued that the Schuyler County Court should not have permitted the jury to hear testimony from Nathan Hand, a co-conspirator. He also claimed that the evidence was not legally sufficient to support Trappler’s conviction.
Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary argued that there were no questions of law that existed, which would trigger the Court of Appeals’ authority to review the case.