Schenectady County

Indictment deadline missed, Schenectady man let out of jail

A city man jailed since November pleaded innocent Friday to a new indictment charging him with attem

A city man jailed since November pleaded innocent Friday to a new indictment charging him with attempted murder for allegedly choking a woman to unconsciousness and threatening to make her eat boric acid.

However, he was released under probation supervision — with a full stay-away order of protection — because the prosecution missed the deadline to indict him. The case itself remains intact.

Ernest L. Burnett, 42, of Summit Avenue, was indicted last week on one count each of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree kidnapping, felonies.

Burnett was arrested in November, accused of kidnapping the woman around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 24 from Glenwood Boulevard, in what police described as a domestic incident.

Police said Burnett bound the 42-year-old woman, choked her and held a box cutter to her throat.

Burnett is also accused of threatening to make her eat the acid and kill her. He then took her from her home, placed her in the trunk of his vehicle and drove away, according to court papers filed then.

The victim was able to get loose, escape and call police, authorities have said. She was treated at Ellis Hospital.

Burnett was arrested in November and had been held since then. The arrest started the clock running on a 90-day deadline to indict the case and for the District Attorney’s Office to announce readiness for trial. There was no explanation in court why that deadline was missed.

Once the deadline is passed, the case can still be prosecuted, but the suspect generally must be released from jail, Burnett’s attorney Steve Signore said.

He made the motion for Burnett’s release and it was granted by acting Schenectady County Court Judge Polly Hoye.

Also in court, Signore argued against the stay-away order of protection, saying the victim wasn’t seeking it. Hoye, though, ordered it anyway.

Burnett also faces one count each of second-degree assault, second-degree strangulation, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree grand larceny.

Burnett was previously held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is being prosecuted by Christina Tremante-Pelham.

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