Grand Jury: No Charges in Death of Man Found in Elmira Parking Lot

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM-18) – More than a year after a man was found dead in a grocery store parking lot in Elmira, a grand jury decided Friday that no one will be charged in the case. Joel States’ death had been ruled a homicide.

“This is my son when he was about 10 months old. He was always a happy little guy,” said Deborah Dailey as she looks through old photographs of her son Joel States.

Today, the mother of Joel States only sees him in photographs. In January 2013, her son was found dead in the Elmira Tops Grocery Store parking lot. He was thirty three years old. His mother says he died from heroin and hypothermia. She says people with him that night drove him there and left him to die.

”Six people and not a damn one of them ever picked up a phone and called 911,” said Dailey of people she says knew about her son’s condition. “How sick is this? How sick is this? Who would do that?”

But now, no one is being charged in his death.

“I am not through,” said Dailey. “I have to stand up for what I believe is right—and this is all wrong. I don’t know where the grand jury’s mind was.”

The grand jury’s decision means they didn’t think there was enough evidence or laws that apply to charge anyone with a crime.
Dailey said she doesn’t know why no charges were brought, because the grand jury doesn’t have to explain their exact decision. But now, she wants stronger laws requiring people to help those in need. She says that’s her next step.

“(People who didn’t help) are worse than slugs underneath your feet. I’m just totally outraged,” she said.

So now, Dailey hopes to keep other mothers from being forced to see their sons only in photographs—and feeling the pain she feels.

“My son was very important to me,” she said tearfully. “And he has made me very hateful. Those boys have made me very hateful. I’m not like that, I’m not a hateful person.”

New York has a law that protects people with small amounts of drugs from being arrested if they call 911 to get help for someone else. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the state, even more than car crashes.

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