SARATOGA SPRINGS — The attorney for a man charged in the Nov. 20 shooting on Broadway in Saratoga Springs is waiting for the judge in the case to rule on whether he can have the grand jury minutes after a grand jury member raised concerns about the indictment process.
Greg Teresi, who represents Vito Caselnova, the off-duty Vermont deputy accused in the late night gun fight, said Monday that he is unclear how the case against his client can proceed until Saratoga County Judge James Murphy III makes a decision.
“He’s anxiously awaiting just like the rest of us to try and find out what exactly happened in that grand jury room, why did that grand juror write that letter to the court,” Teresi said about his client.
In the letter to the judge, dated March 30, an unnamed grand jury member said they were “disturbed and upset by the process,” and that they were losing sleep because of it, according to a copy of the letter.
“I feel we rushed through our decision with little thought after hearing many days of very complicated evidence,” the juror wrote in the letter. “The law applying to this case was also very obtuse and hard to understand.”
The letter came just days after Caselnova was arraigned on indictment charges in the case.
Caselnova was indicted on one count each of first-degree assault, possession of a firearm in a sensitive location, and two counts of possession of a large capacity ammunition-feeding device. He was also charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree menacing, both misdemeanors and second-degree harassment, a violation.
Officials said that Caselnova was seen holding a leveled handgun after several patrol officers encountered him. He was told multiple times to disarm before officers opened fire, officials said.
Teresi said Caslnova was hit five times, resulting in 10 bullet wounds. However, he said his client has almost recovered 100% from the shooting.
The grand jury also charged three other men involved in the fight, but on lesser misdemeanor crimes.
Officials have not outlined the three individuals’ alleged roles in the incident, or what specifically they are accused of doing, but all three face one count of third-degree attempted assault, a misdemeanor. At least one of the other three men, Alexander Colon of Utica, was in possession of a gun, authorities have indicated.
Caselnova is scheduled to appear May 2. Whether that will happen is up in the air. Teresi said based on his years of experience he doesn’t think his client will need to appear but said they’ll do whatever the court tells them to do.
“The process has been slowed down a little bit because of this grand jury issue and the right to the grand jury minutes,” Teresi said.
Teresi said he believes the next appearance was related to whether Caselnova would reject or accept a plea offer and if the defense had received the evidence in the case.
No plea offer has been offered, Teresi said.
No evidence has been provided to the defense yet either, which Teresi said is anticipated to be “voluminous.”
“I would think in the next couple of weeks the court will make a ruling relative to those grand jury minutes and then I would say probably within two weeks after that we’d be able to file an additional motion or proceed forward through the discovery process depending on what those minutes illicit,” he said,
District Attorney Karen Heggen could not be reached for comment.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected].