Update: Hebert trial adjourns with no verdict; deliberations resume Thursday morning
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 6:30 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER

North Country This Week

CANTON -- Jurors in the Christopher Hebert murder trial were sent home for the evening around 8 p.m. Wednesday night and will resume deliberations on Thursday morning at 9:15 a.m.

Hebert, 47, is being tried in St. Lawrence County Court for second-degree murder for allegedly killing Lacey Yekel, who died at age 25 around June 7, 2014. Prosecutors say Hebert severely beat her and then choked her. Yekel's skeletal remains were recovered in woods near the Massena Industrial Park on Aug. 29, 2014.

Around 7:30 p.m., Judge Jerome Richards called the jurors into the courtroom and warned them that their deliberations could be heard outside the courthouse. He said the jurors had opened a window in the jury room for air and a court officer who had stepped outside could hear them and reported it to the judge.

"You need to keep your volume down so no one has access to your deliberations," Richards told the jurors, who all nodded affiratively.

Jurors around 6:30 Wednesday night asked to hear a recording of a phone call between the defendant and a woman named Julia Larock from around the time Hebert was arrested for murder.

Earlier on Wednesday, jurors heard a recording of the call while Hebert was on the witness stand. Hebert made the call to Larock and St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility officials taped it.

"This wasn't my [expletive] alibi," Hebert says on the tape.

Hebert during his testmony on Wednesday morning said Yekel died of a cocaine overdose and since he was wanted by New York State Parole, he hid the body in the woods. 

Larock later in the call can be heard saying to Hebert "I could picture it if she ODed and someone just put the body back there."

District Attorney Gary Pasqua seized upon that during his cross-examination of Hebert.

"And you don't go 'Yup that's exactly what happened?'" Pasqua said. "'I knew the phones were being recorded' ... You didn't want to after you'd been indicted say 'nope it was an OD.'"

Hebert said he didn't say anything about Yekel's death on the phone because his lawyer advised against it.