Defense rests in trial of man accused of killing LI banker

The trial of a man accused of killing a Garden City South banker came to an abrupt end Thursday with the defense calling just one witness.

The defense presented a detective who was questioned about why police never seriously pursued any suspect other than Reginald Gousse. The defense contends that police received a tip about another suspect, but had Gousse pegged as the murderer from the beginning. Officials say Gousse seriously considered taking the stand in his defense and mulled the decision with his attorney and two friends for more than an hour before deciding against it.

Gousse is accused of murdering James Gottlieb, who was an HSBC bank manager in Cedarhurst. Prosecutors say Gousse pulled over Gottlieb in Franklin Square on January 5, 2005 in an SUV rigged with police lights and a siren. Authorities say Gousse demanded the keys to the bank, then shot and killed Gottlieb when he refused.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday in the case. Gousse faces life in prison if convicted.

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