Schenectady County

Man, family indicted in Schenectady house fire

A city man has been indicted on a top-level arson count, while three others face charges for trying

A city man has been indicted on a top-level arson count, while three others face charges for trying to cover for him, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Jason Salisbury, 24, faces one count of first-degree arson and other lesser charges for allegedly setting fire to his 623 Brandywine Ave. residence in July.

A quick 911 call helped get firefighters to the scene before the fire could spread, resulting in minimal damage to the building, prosecutor John Healy said. Firefighters investigating the blaze quickly realized it had been intentionally set, he said: They discovered exploded propane tanks inside the apartment’s stove, which had been turned on.

Healy declined to give a specific motive for the arson, but said it appeared to be motivated by financial gain, and not done with malice toward any individual.

Also indicted were Salisbury’s girlfriend, Amanda Stabile, 21; his mother, Jessica Bender, 50; and his sister, Amanda Salisbury, 27. Each is listed with the same Brandywine Avenue address.

All four face third-degree perjury, false statement and conspiracy charges, as well as hindering prosecution counts.

In addition to the arson charge, Salisbury faces one count each of first- and third-degree criminal mischief, attempted aggravated cruelty to animals and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The endangering and attempted cruelty counts related to the fire’s potential victims, Healy said.

The case was a joint operation of the arson task force, including investigators from the city fire and police departments and the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Also Wednesday:

• Edward Cuomo, 50, of 242 N. Brandywine Ave., was indicted on three counts of third-degree grand larceny and one count each of fourth-degree grand larceny and attempted grand larceny.

He is charged in a $20,000 check-writing scheme. He was ordered held last week on $40,000 bond after a prosecutor noted in court that, with his criminal history, Cuomo could face up to life in prison if convicted.

• Edward Agrusti, 34, of 259 S. Pearl St., Albany, was indicted on one count each of third-degree attempted grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, along with two counts of first-degree perjury.

He is accused of trying to take money in 2009 at the First National Bank of Scotia and then lying to a grand jury about it, officials said.

• Brendan Coogan, 17, of 33 Moyston St., and Tyshawn Cooper, 16, of 740 Congress St., were indicted on two counts of second-degree robbery, one count of second-degree assault and four counts of fourth-degree grand larceny.

Cooper also faces one count each of third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief.

The two are accused of taking property Oct. 6 on Nott Terrace, officials said.

• Dale Brooks, 42, of Schoharie, was indicted on two counts of driving while intoxicated.

He is accused of driving drunk June 4 on Route 7 in Rotterdam, officials said.

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