The attorney for Patchita Tennant, the manager currently on leave from the Pantigo Road CVS Pharmacy in East Hampton charged with the attempted murder of her boyfriend at their Flanders residence September 5, said last week he believes her trial will begin soon.
“It looks like we will be picking a jury early March,” Austin Manghan told The Independent, adding he believes the trial will last two to three weeks.
Tennant, who is free on a $500,000 bond secured by her family, is slated to return to the courtroom of New York State Supreme Court Justice John Collins in Riverside Thursday, February 20. At that conference, scheduling matters ffor the trial should be dealt with, in coordination with District Attorney Tim Sini’s prosecution team.
Tennant is facing three other felony charges stemming from the shooting of Andrew Silas Mitchell, including criminal use of a firearm, using a deadly weapon to cause serious physical injury, and assault with a weapon with intent to cause serious injury. Mitchell survived being shot three times with a .38 caliber revolver.
“I feel strongly about my client’s adamant claim of self-defense,” Manghan said. “I believe her story.”
As an attorney, he said it is important to “try to step out and be somewhat objective and see if the story has some merit or muster, believability,” Manghan said, adding that with Tennant, “I do.”
But he said he also knows he will have some work to do to get a not-guilty verdict from a jury. Normally, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The legal standard in the American criminal justice system is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
“It is definitely not an easy case — by any means,” Manghan said, adding he is “conceding that she shot her boyfriend three times. That’s starting off with a mountain to climb.”