Saratoga County

Corinth man sentenced to 20 years to life for fatally colliding with motorcyclists

Dylan K. Vella - Credit: Saratoga County Sheriff's Office

Dylan K. Vella - Credit: Saratoga County Sheriff's Office

BALLSTON SPA — A Corinth man whose two-town crime spree on April 7, 2020, consisted of killing a motorcyclist he intentionally drove into on Main Street was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Tuesday.

Dylan K. Vella, 28, of Angel Road was sentenced in the death of 53-year-old Paul Hollenbeck of Oak Street.

Hollenbeck died nine days after the crash at Albany Medical Center.

Police said Vella plowed his car into a group of motorcyclists out for a cruise, resulting in Hollenbeck’s death and injuries to two others.

Earlier that day, Vella sexually and physically assaulted a woman in Hadley, and forcibly stole property from another woman at the StewartPond picnic area, prosecutors said in a statement.

Hollenbeck was described as a well-liked businessman and athletics coach who left behind a wife, two sons, two stepsons and a granddaughter. He had coached hockey, semipro football and AAU basketball, and owned Adirondack K-9 Training for several years and Coach’s Creations Awards and Apparel Store in Corinth.

Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy III sentenced Vella on Tuesday to murder in the second degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree, all felony offenses.

Vella received a 20-year sentence for Hollenbeck’s murder. He also received concurrent jail time for the lesser offenses, including 15 years for the two counts of assault.  He is also required to register as a sex offender.

Vella had been charged on a 23-count indictment with the crimes in Hadley and Corinth.

One of crash victims said at sentencing: “I physically hurt every day. But there are days that I welcome the physical pain … as to take the focus away from the pain I feel in my mind and heart.

Another victims statement detailed the extent of his injuries, including severe broken bones in his left leg.

“My leg now has bars and screws holding my bones back together,” the victim told the court. “Both ankles also have bars and screws as well as my hip.

He went on to state “whatever sentence you are handed is not enough compared to what you did.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Shawn Lescault said there were no words to “adequately describe the tragedy that brings us here.” The prosecutor said Vella “boldly and deliberately ended the life of Paul Hollenbeck.

Judge Murphy said there was nothing the court could do to make the victims whole, and he read a statement by the Saratoga County Probation Department about how many lives Hollenbeck had touched, and how talented he was. 

District Attorney Karen Heggen said each of the charges the defendant was sentenced for represented a conviction for each victim harmed.

“No sentence can heal the injuries suffered by the many victims, but does reflect the seriousness of the incident,” Heggen said.

Heggen also commended the Saratoga County Sheriffs Office’s investigation, and the Sheriffs Office Collision Reconstruction Unit for its work in reconstructing a complex, multivehicle crash scene.

She also thanked first-responders and good Samaritans, including members of Jessups Landing EMS, Corinth EMS and the Corinth Fire Department for rendering aid to the victims.

Heggen recognized Senior Assistant District Attorneys Michele Schettino and Lescault, Crime Victim Specialist Ashley Kitts and DA Investigators Michael Wells and Jack Barney.

Categories: -News-, Saratoga County

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