Syracuse man accused of killing wife's co-worker will stand trial after rejecting plea deal

The crime scene in Steuben Street in June 2013.

The case of a Syracuse man who is accused of killing the co-worker of his estranged wife will go to trial.

28-year-old George Alfred rejected a plea deal Friday morning. He faces first and second degree murder charges in the death of 33-year-old Corey Hill. Police say Alfred shot Hill several times inside a home on Steuben Street on the city's north side last June.

Hill was a manager at the Sam's Club where Alfred's wife, 26-year-old Tanya, also worked. Police say they had been acquainted for years, and that Hill agreed to escort Tanya home from a bar, as she was concerned for her safety.

Aldred then brought his wife to Pennsylvania, where his parents live. He let her go, and shortly after, turned himself in to authorities.

The trial, which starts at the end of the month, will focus on "extreme emotional disturbance" and whether that led Alfred to commit murder. If a jury rules that it did, Alfred could be charged with a lesser crime.

Alfred's defense attorney, Ralph A Cognetti, says his client was under a lot of pressure.

"There's a defense you can offer, it's an 'extreme emotional disturbance' and if the jury accepts that as a legitimate reason why the acts occurred - the charge can be reduced to something on the order of manslaughter. That's what we are hoping for," Cognetti says.

The trial is scheduled to start March 31 in Onondaga County Court.