Schenectady County

Woman faces perjury charge linked to 2008 Schenectady killing

A woman who once lived with a city murder suspect is now facing charges, accused of lying to the gra

A woman who once lived with a city murder suspect is now facing charges, accused of lying to the grand jury investigating the killing.

Kimberly Sparre, 44, formerly of Broadway, appeared in Schenectady County Court Friday on an indictment charging her with a total of six counts of first-degree perjury.

Sparre is accused of lying about information prosecutors said she knew about the 2008 killing of Foday Kpoto, according to the indictment.

Charged with second-degree murder in the killing are Raquan Banks, 23, and Matthew M. Blanding, Jr., 25. Sparre lived with Blanding at the time of the killing and for months after, prosecutor Philip Mueller said Friday in court.

Sparre was arraigned on the indictment and pleaded not guilty. After an afternoon hearing, Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago ordered Sparre held on $10,000 bail.

Banks and Blanding are accused of gunning down the 18-year-old Kpoto just before 1 a.m. May 31, 2008, in the area of 1759 Becker St.

Authorities now believe that the killing was a case of mistaken identity, based on a jacket, relatives have said. Kpoto had been in Schenectady only a few hours, coming into the city by bus from Maryland to visit relatives, when he left his aunt’s Linden Street home to meet his cousin.

It was shortly after, as Kpoto and friends walked on Becker Street, that a car pulled up and someone fired from inside the vehicle. Kpoto was hit twice in the head, fell against a chain-link fence and died.

Banks was identified in court paperwork as the man who fired, Blanding as the driver. Both men were only arrested in August of this year; they are in custody but indictments against them have yet to be reported.

The car itself was the subject of one of the perjury counts against Sparre. Sparre allegedly falsely told the grand jury that she never knew Blanding to drive the white Mitsubishi Diamante sedan, from which the shot was fired, according to the indictment. She also told the grand jury that the owner of the car did not allow anyone else to drive the car, including herself and Blanding.

Other counts appeared to relate to her credibility.

If convicted of first-degree perjury, Sparre faces up to 7 years in state prison, with sentences possibly running consecutively.

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