Jury Selection Begins for Man Accused of Killing Pregnant Teen, Troy Arson
Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Gabriel Vega. He's accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in 2014, then setting a fire to cover it up. Katie Eastman has the latest.
TROY, N.Y. -- Jury selection in the case against Gabriel Vega will continue into Tuesday, but three family members of the victim are now banned from attending.
Three of Vanessa Milligan's family members left the courtroom in tears on Monday. The judge called them up after a prospective juror told him that one of the women approached them and said she'd like to stick something inside of Gabriel Vega's neck. The 20-year-old is facing murder, arson, burglary, and abortion charges.
Judge Andrew Ceresia described the potential juror who came forward about what she heard as "visibly shaken."
"From what I'm hearing, she says she didn't say it," said Nathan Milligan, Vanessa's father, about his family member.
The three family members told the judge they didn't say that either. Nathan Milligan wasn't inside the courtroom for jury selection, and he plans on staying out.
"So I'm just going to stay out in the hallway and respect the process, and I don't have nothing else to do but make sure he goes to prison," said Milligan.
The defense's attorney asked for the three women to be banned from the rest of jury selection, and the prosecutor consented to that wish. Judge Andrew Ceresia says he plans on following up on this incident and that he will "not tolerate anyone improperly influencing this trial."
Even though the victim's father won't be inside the courtroom until the trial begins, he said he won't miss a single day.
"This is my chance to make sure the monster sees that I'm out here every time he shows up," said Milligan.
At the end of Monday's court day, five jurors were seated. If jury selection ends by noon on Tuesday, Judge Ceresia says the trial will begin at 2 p.m.