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Murder charge filed in drunken Schenectady confrontation

Saturday, December 22, 2012
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— A Schenectady resident is facing a second-degree murder charge as the result of an alleged confrontation with a man who fell and hit his head.

The suspect, Alphonso Washington, 41, of 308 Craig St., maintains what happened Dec. 5 was an accident.

Washington was in Schenectady County Court on Friday before Judge Richard Giardino after his attorney, Sven Paul, filed an application for bail.

Paul said in court that the victim, whose name was not available, appeared to be intoxicated and was spitting in his client’s face, so Washington pulled away.

“The decedent was so drunk, he simply stumbled, fell down and hit his head on the sidewalk,” he said.

Washington tried to revive him and then called police, Paul added.

Prosecutor John Healy said the case has not been presented yet to a grand jury.

He said Washington gave the same account to police that Sven gave in court.

“He gave a statement to police. How truthful it is remains to be seen,” he said.

The victim sustained a fractured skull, causing a hematoma that ultimately resulted in his death.

Giardino set bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. Washington faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

In other business before Giardino:

u Jennica Duell pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault. She is expected to receive 6 months in jail and 5 years’ probation when sentenced Feb. 19.

Duell and two other people hit a man with a baseball bat June 26 near 438 Hulett St. She said the victim had posted a message on Facebook about her new romantic relationship and said she kicked and punched him.

The victim was treated at Albany Medical Center for fractures and cuts to his head.

Duell initially was charged with first-degree gang assault, but the charge was reduced as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

If she violates her probation, she could face seven years in prison.

Also charged in the incident are Michael J. Benway and Ann L. Benway. The status of their cases could not be determined Friday.

u Devin Walls was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison on a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance. This will run concurrent to an existing sentence on a burglary charge. He had forced his way into a McClellan Street apartment in April 2011 and attacked a woman inside.

u Anthony Logan was sentenced to 21⁄2 years in prison on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. He possessed a loaded firearm Oct. 23 in the vicinity of Paige Street.

u Sentencing was postponed for a former city businessman who pleaded guilty to possessing and selling counterfeit merchandise at his now-closed American Wear store at 1702 Chrisler Ave. Lawrence Farfield, 71, of 1108 Van Velsen St., pleaded guilty in June to selling fake goods including Nike, Coach, Chanel, Dooney & Bourke, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and UGG items.

Giardino made a request that the counterfeit merchandise not be destroyed, as required by law, but instead be donated to charity.

“I just think it’s ridiculous to destroy clothes that are otherwise good,” he said.

 
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