Cold case homicide trial coming to a close

The prosecution rested yesterday in the double-murder trial of Kenneth West, accused of killing Josephine O’Keefe, a 53-year-old Pelham grandmother in 1983, and June Roberts, a 23-year-old Yonkers woman in 1986, shown in an undated photo here.

Click here to read all about the West case.

West’s attorney, Allan Focarile, put no witnesses on the stand. He will try to convince the jury that the prosecution didn’t prove its DNA-based case and that reasonable doubt demands an acquittal.

Today, the lawyers held a charge conference with¬†Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli in her chambers. O’Keefe’s daughter, Sue Huppelsberg, and her brother, Steve O’Keefe, still came to the county courthouse to keep tabs on the case. Huppelsberg, who lives in Florida, has been in the courtroom every day. She’ll fly back to the Sunshine State this weekend and come back to New York on Monday. Sue is on the right in this photo; that’s her mom on the left.

The jury will hear closing arguments Monday morning and start deliberations immediately afterwards.¬†Zambelli plans to sequester the jury if they can’t reach a verdict by the end of the day.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.