Split Verdict in UAlbany/CDTA Bus Incident

Verdicts are in for the Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell trial.  

In Albany County, a jury has returned not guilty verdicts on the Assault, Attempted Assault and Harassment charges the two were facing.

But the jury did find the two women guilty on at least one count of Falsely Reporting an Incident.  

Burwell and Agudio said that they were harassed and taunted on a CDTA bus in January of 2016.  They claimed the incident was racially motivated.  Authorities said that after looking at cameras from the buses and cell phone video from other passengers that in fact, Agudio and Burwell were the aggressors.

Defense had argued that Agudio and Burwell interpreted the comments others made on the bus as racially motivated and therefore they hadn't lied when they reported to police that they had been victims of a racial incident.

The Albany campus was devastated by the allegations, vigils were held and those accused of spewing racial hate were ostracized and threatened.  The story went viral with national public figures speaking out against the perceived hate crime.

A third woman, Alexis Briggs, who was present with Agudio and Burwell the night of the incident recanted her story, saying she should have done more to stop the false narrative.  She accepted a plea deal with the district attorney, and agreed to apologize and was sentenced to perform community service.

 Sentencing will be June 16.

More updates as they become available.

From the archives, video from the bus that was released to the public:

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