ALBANY — A Gloversville man who has been identified as a “person of interest” in an ongoing investigation into the 2019 death of his wife was arraigned Monday on a new federal indictment involving pipe bombs and firearms and ordered held pending trial.
Michael D. Darling, 41, was indicted Thursday on one count each of possession of firearms by a prohibited person and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms.
He is accused of illegally possessing a .308-caliber rifle, a 20 gauge shotgun and six pipe bombs discovered by Gloversville police Feb. 12 at his 14 McLaren St. residence. He’s been in custody since his February arrest.
Darling appeared in federal court in Albany with his attorney, Joseph McCoy, on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel for an already scheduled detention hearing and was formally arraigned on the new indictment.
McCoy entered pleas of not guilty to both counts of the indictment on behalf of his client. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Sharpe noted Darling could face maximum sentences of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each of the charges.
Following the arraignment, Sharpe argued that Darling should continue to be held pending trial, saying he posed a flight risk and a danger to the community – the same arguments under which Darling was originally ordered held based on circumstances that Sharpe said have not changed.
Prosecutors during an earlier detention hearing revealed that Darling also remains a person of interest in the Feb. 6, 2019 death of his wife, Kristine M. Howland Darling, 44, the mother of a teenage daughter, at her Fort Johnson residence.
Her death involved a gunshot and has remained an active investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for two years. The department is working with state police on the investigation. Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith on Monday confirmed the case remains under investigation, but was unable to provide any updates in the case.
The pipe bombs were discovered this Feb. 12 by police during the course of a welfare check after Darling’s family and girlfriend reported that he had left suicide notes.
During Monday’s proceedings, Darling’s attorney argued bail should be set for his client so Darling can continue mental health treatment with providers of his own choosing in a setting where his issues could be “better handled.”
Yet, Hummel noted that in order for the court to change its position on Darling’s incarceration from the previous detention hearing, some change in his circumstances would have to have occurred. The judge stated that the only change is that Darling has now been indicted.
Hummel went on to deny McCoy’s request to set conditions and bail under which Darling could be released, stating the opinion that Darling represents a danger to the community if released.
Hummel ordered Darling to continue to be held pending trial. A trial date in federal court has been tentatively set for Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m.
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