A man convicted in a 1992 Schenectady slaying will remain in prison after his latest appeal was denied today.
Jason Thompson, now 31, appealed his conviction in the March 31, 1992, killing of Samuel Frazier on the grounds that the offense did not rise to the standard of current definition of the particular murder statue he was convicted under. Thompson was 15 at the time of the killing.
His argument was denied in a 2006 appeal to acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino. That ruling was appealed to the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, which denied that appeal today.
Thompson was convicted under the “depraved indifference to human life” definition of murder.
A Schenectady County Court jury found Thompson shot and killed the 23-year-old Frazier while on the front porch of 619 Lincoln Ave. Witnesses testified that Frazier had robbed Thompson of cash at least once before the murder, something police suspected was the motive for the killing.
Thompson testified in his own defense, denying he killed Frazier and saying it was a case of mistaken identity.
He was sentenced to 11 years to life in prison, a sentence reduced by his age at the time. He, however, remains at the Green Haven Correctional Facility, nearly 16 years after the crime.
Through attorney Theresa Suozzi, Thompson argued in the current appeal that the conviction did not fall under current guidelines for such a murder case. The evidence showed neither recklessness, nor depraved indifference to human life, Suozzi argued.
However, the Appellate Division noted changes in the definition were specifically intended not to be applied retroactively.
Chief Assistant Schenectady County District Attorney Alfred Chapleau argued for the county.
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