Man accused of Hammonton double murder chooses not to testify -

Man accused of Hammonton double murder chooses not to testify

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The man accused of killing a Hammonton man and his mother has chosen not to testify in his own defense.

"Yes" was the only word spoken by 34-year-old Patrick Latko during the last day of his trial.

He chose not to testify, but his mother Melissa Latko took the stand to tell the jury what she says happened on the morning of a Hammonton double murder.

"And you said why do you need a ride to the Deptford Police Department?" "Yes," said Melissa Latko. "He said to you my best friend was killed? Correct?" "Yes" "That was Ryan Patterson."

In November of 2011, 29-year-old Ryan Patterson and his mother 64-year-old Diana Patterson were found brutally stabbed and murdered inside of their home.

The state says Latko, who was friends with Patterson, was jealous of his friendship with an ex-girlfriend.

One and a half years later Latko is still maintaining his innocence but while the jury was not in the room, the Judge said he believes that evidence presented during the trial could be enough for the jury to find without a reasonable doubt that Latko committed the crime.

"The discovery of a knife within a reasonable distance of the crime. The blood evidence on the knife of the sheath of the knife being uncovered at the storage facility."

At 5:22 on the morning of the murder, Patterson made a 9-1-1 call. 37 minutes later surveillance video places Latko at a storage unit where evidence was later found.

Melissa Latko says her son was in bed when she went to work sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 o'clock that morning.

Last week, the prosecutor stated that Latko's phone was found just feet from Ryan Pattern's lifeless body.

The trial will resume on Wednesday morning starting at 8:30. The jury will hear closing arguments from both sides and will hopefully reach a verdict.

A Hammonton police officer was the only other witness called to the stand on Tuesday. The defense says that they believe the department should have investigated other suspects in the case as well.

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