Second brother accused in Saratoga Springs fight that ended in man’s death admits to assault

James Garafalo (left) and Jordan Garafalo (right); Clancy's Tavern in August 2021 (Background) Credit: Saratoga Springs Police Department and file

James Garafalo (left) and Jordan Garafalo (right); Clancy's Tavern in August 2021 (Background) Credit: Saratoga Springs Police Department and file

BALLSTON SPA The second of two brothers arrested in connection with an August 2021 fight in Saratoga Springs that ended in a man’s death admitted to assault Friday.

Jordan Garafalo, 39, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree assault, a felony, according to a release issued later that day by the Saratoga County District Attorney’s office.

Garafalo is to be sentenced in December to three years in prison, his attorney George LaMarche said.

Garafalo had been set for trial on charges that included first-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 14, 2021 death of 56-year-old Mark French outside Clancy’s Tavern.

Jordan Garafalo was accused of punching French in the head during the incident and prosecutors allege that French immediately fell to the pavement. French was taken to Saratoga Hospital unconscious, where he was declared brain dead hours later.

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen declined to comment further on the plea when reached late Friday.

Garafalo’s brother, James J. Garafalo, 28, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded guilty earlier this year, also to second-degree assault, in the case. He was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in May.

Jordan Garafalo had contended his actions that night were only to defend himself and his brother, LaMarche has said.

LaMarche reiterated Friday that, as a lawyer, he believed the case was fully defensible and that a jury would have ruled in Jordan Garafalo’s favor.

“But Jordan wanted to accept responsibility for his role in this and he did that,” LaMarche said.

Jordan Garafalo admitted he intended to cause serious physical injury by throwing the punch, but never intended to cause French’s death, LaMarche said.

Jordan Garafalo has been free on bail since shortly after his August 2021 arrest. He is to remain free until his sentencing, set for Dec. 8.

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