Saratoga County

Jury in murder trial hears testimony about blood evidence

Georgios Kakavelos, right, talks to his attorney, Kevin K. O’Brien, before the jury arrives for opening statements in his murder trial on May 12.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Georgios Kakavelos, right, talks to his attorney, Kevin K. O’Brien, before the jury arrives for opening statements in his murder trial on May 12.

FULTON & SARATOGA COUNTIES – Traces of blood were found inside the Johnstown sub shop where Allyzibeth Lamont was murdered in October 2019, as well as in a dumpster behind the business and inside the shop owner’s car, a state police investigator testified Friday in Saratoga County Court.

Forensic investigator Dennis Rounds said he participated in a search at the Local No. 9 Smokehouse and Substation on Townsend Avenue in Johnstown on Nov. 1 and 2, 2019, during which no obvious signs of blood were found, but a chemical test revealed spots too small to be readily visible. Numerous cleaning supplies were also in the room.

Blood was also found on an interior door that had been broken into pieces and placed in the dumpster, Rounds testified.

The door pieces and other evidence was sent to the state police crime lab in Albany, he said, but the jury hearing the case in Ballston Spa has yet to be presented with any evidence about the lab results.

Rounds testified on direct examination for more than four hours Friday, and was the sole witness on the sixth day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial of Georgios Kakavelos, 52, of Milton, who owned the small sub shop.

Kakavelos is accused of arranging with shop manager James A. Duffy, 35, of Johnstown, to kill Lamont with blows to head on Oct. 28, 2019 — allegedly over the 22-year-old’s threats to report the business to the state Department of Labor. The men are accused of bringing Lamont’s body to Northway Exit 13 in Malta and  burying it in a shallow grave a distance from the road. She was discovered three days later, on Oct. 31, after Duffy confessed to investigators. Both men were arrested that night.

Between the killing and the arrests, the two men were also accused of taking numerous measures to try to cover up the crime, including hiding evidence at locations in Milton and Galway.

Duffy last month pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for cooperating in the prosecution of Kakavelos, and is expected to be sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. Kakavelos, if convicted of first-degree murder, could be sentenced to life without parole.

Defense attorney Kevin O’Brien of Albany has argued that Duffy was the person who killed Lamont, and Kakavelos only participated in covering up the crime because Duffy threatened to harm his family.

During his testimony, Rounds said that a chemical test used to detect blood spots too small to seen with the naked eye indicated some blood spots in an “employees only” utility room off the customer area, on a door hinge, and at two spots on the wall outside that room. The door to that room was missing. Pieces of a broken-up door marked “employees only” were found in a dumpster behind the business, including the bottom piece, which Rounds tested and which he said has “obvious” blood patterns.

State police also seized Kakavelos’ black Volkswagen Passat, which Rounds said was searched at the state police evidence garage in Latham. A muddy palm print was found on the car’s hood, he said. Tests detected blood on a roof support pillar, part of the rear ceiling, and on a running board. He also said a thin sheet of wood had been placed over the trunk, along with an after-market carpet over it.

Rounds, who is based at the Troop G forensics unit in Latham, is the only investigator to testify to having been at all the primary evidence scenes.

He testified on Thursday to having helped unearth and identify Lamont’s body on the night of Oct. 31. She was buried in a shallow grave off the Exit 13 southbound entrance ramp. He also collected a small sledgehammer found not from where the body was located.

Earlier on Oct. 31, Rounds was also at a remote location on Dean Lung Road in Galway where a baseball bat and plastic bags, including one containing a shovel, were found. Authorities believe the bat and the hammer were the murder weapons.

Rounds’ questioning by Assistant District Attorney Alan Poremba will continue at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The trial is being held in Saratoga County because that is where the body was found, even though authorities say the killing occurred at the Johnstown deli. County Court Judge James A. Murphy III is presiding.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County

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