UPDATE: Jury finds Halfmoon woman guilty of attempted murder
BALLSTON SPA A Saratoga County Court jury this morning convicted a Halfmoon woman of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the stabbing of her husband last year at their home.
The jury, which began deliberations Thursday afternoon, returned the verdicts against Lydia Ann Salce, 51, at about 10 a.m., shortly after being allowed to review DNA evidence in the case.
Salce now faces up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced on Aug. 31 by County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano.
Salce's defense had been that she stabbed Michael McKee, 42, in self-defense from a beating.
An appeal is likely.
"We're extremely disappointed in the verdict," said county Public Defender John Ciulla. Assistant Public Defender Andrew Blumenberg represented Salce during the two-week trial.
Ciulla said the defense will now concentrate on arguing for a shorter sentence than the maximum, while also preparing for an appeal, which can't be filed until after the sentencing.
"We think in this situation an appeal is obvious," he said, noting in particular the defense could challenge Scarano's ruling that a self-defense expert wouldn't be allowed to testify.
The stabbing took place on Aug. 11, 2011, at the couple's home on Route 9 in Halfmoon. McKee was stabbed at least a dozen times with a six-inch knife.
Assistant District Attorney Michele Schettino argued that Salce stabbed McKee after an angry confrontation because she was furious about his going out drinking with friends in a motorcycle gang called Prisoners of Fate. McKee, who had just returned home from a night out, testified that he was stabbed in the back without warning.
Blumenberg, however, in closing statements termed the prosecution's version of events "ludicrous," calling the motorcycle gang member "a diabolical, scary dude with a violent criminal past and a history of violence against women."
When he testified, McKee said his criminal history stemmed from when he was younger and living in Florida. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of domestic violence in the Salce-Mckee relationship. The couple had only been married a few months.
Salce was remanded to the Saratoga County Jail without bail after the verdicts.