Day two of deliberations in a high profile patient abuse case saw no verdict, but the judge did decide to release surveillance footage at the center of the case to the public.
For the first time, the public can view the key evidence, surveillance video of a former forensic nurse that jurors have been reviewing for well over a week.
NBC Connecticut Investigates broke the story about the patient abuse at Connecticut’s maximum-security mental hospital two years ago.
Former forensic nurse Mark Cusson took a calculated risk electing a jury trial in a patient abuse case that already has some of his former co-workers behind bars.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, these videos are worth a million. You are able to see the violence and see how Bill Shehadi was treated by Mr. Cusson. All these strung together, show the tormenting behavior that Mr. Shehadi was subjected to by Mr. Cusson,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Doskos during closing arguments Tuesday.
The video that allegedly shows Cusson abusing longtime patient Bill Shehadi is hard to see, something the defense team hopes will lead to a jury acquitting Cusson.
Most of the four hours of surveillance video, that the prosecution says shows Cusson putting a mop on Shehadi’s head, kicking him off his bed, and throwing a cup of liquid in his face, among other things, is in the dark, besides one very short clip when the lights were turned on in his room.
“You have to feel what went in the room, you have to feel it! You have to be there! You have to decide to do more than look at a tape without an audio to interpret what’s going on in the room”, said Norm Pattis, Cusson’s attorney, during closing arguments Tuesday.
The surveillance video does not have any audio. It never did. It’s one of the things the defense hopes will bolster its claim that the video does not provide enough evidence to convict Mark Cusson.