DUANESBURG — After a Schenectady man opened fire on a New York state trooper during a traffic stop Friday morning, the man and his girlfriend attempted to carjack a pickup truck at gunpoint, authorities said Monday.
The new details come as part of charges now filed against the girlfriend, identified as 30-year-old Schenectady resident Alicia G. Eriole.
The man identified as Eriole’s boyfriend and the alleged shooter, 32-year-old Schenectady resident Nelson Troche, died Friday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after ultimately fleeing into nearby woods.
Court documents from Eriole’s arraignment over the weekend released Monday indicate that she was dating Troche of Schenectady, and that the pair attempted to “forcibly steal” a disabled Ford F-150 pickup truck on Interstate 88 in the minutes following the shooting incident.
The documents indicate that Eriole was in unlawful possession of a .9mm handgun “while she and her boyfriend Nelson Troche attempted to commit the crime of murder 2nd degree.”
Eriole is facing two counts of first-degree robbery and a single count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection to the shooting that wounded Trooper Richard Albert, a 21-year-veteran of the state police. The shooting triggered a massive manhunt. Police indicated that additional charges are anticipated.
“The investigation into this incident has determined that Eriole was a willing participant in these crimes,” a state police press release reads.
Eriole was driving a gray SUV that was stopped by Albert for traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph on the eastbound portion of Interstate 88 near mile marker 108 in Duanesburg, police said.
As Albert approached the vehicle, a man later identified as Troche reached over from the front passenger seat and opened fire, striking the officer in the upper left arm. Albert returned fire and retreated to his vehicle.
State police spokesperson, Trooper Stephanie O’Neil, on Monday said the driver of the Ford F-150 witnessed the shooting and slowed down on the highway, when the vehicle was struck from behind by a logging truck.
The driver of the Ford pickup pulled over to the shoulder, while the driver of the logging truck blocked the SUV driven by Eriole from leaving the scene.
The couple got out of their vehicle and attempted to steal the Ford pickup, but the vehicle had been disabled by the crash, according to O’Neil.
Eriole immediately surrendered, while Troche fled to a nearby wooded area.
“While committing this act, Troche displayed a silver handgun at the owner of said F-150 as the owner sat inside said vehicle … while the defendant was present with Troche,” the documents read.
Police located Troche about 90 minutes later in the area of Darby Hill Road suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to Albany Medical Center by helicopter, where he was pronounced dead.
Albert was transported to Ellis Hospital, where he was treated and released on Friday.
It’s not the first time Troche has had a brush with law enforcement.
In November 2012, he was sent to state prison following a manslaughter conviction and served an 11-year sentence before being paroled in March, according to state court records. The facts of the conviction were not immediately clear on Monday.
Eriole on Monday was being held on a total of $105,000 in bail — including $5,000 for the initial robbery charges and an additional $100,000 related to the weapons charges.
The initial arraignment triggered a response from the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, who criticized Glenville Town Justice John Lockwood for “setting an obscenely low bail amount.”
The union praised Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Peter Willis, who, according to the statement released Saturday afternoon, requested bail be set in the amount of $100,000.
“While we understand Judge Lockwood has discretion in setting bail, we contend that with the charges faced by this defendant — coupled with the reality that our trooper’s life was altered forever and nearly lost — a higher bail amount would have reflected the grave situation faced by all troopers who responded to this incident yesterday,” the statement reads.
Lockwood — who presided over both of Eriole’s arraignments that took place at the Schenectady County Centralized Arraignment Part Court — said during the second arraignment that no bail amount was recommended at the first arraignment and that there was no evidence linking Eriole to the trooper-involved shooting, according to an audio recording of the proceeding.
“Had the court received a bail recommendation and the information that connected Ms. Eriole to the trooper-involved shooting, yesterday’s arraignment may have gone differently,” Lockwood said on the Saturday recording.
“It’s my hope that everyone out there working in the criminal justice system is trying to do their best,” Lockwood said. “Before anyone in the system tries to condemn anyone else, they look into the facts and circumstances thoroughly and give courtesy to one another. Because once the statement’s are out there, the damage is already done.”
Willis acknowledged in the Saturday arraignment that there was no recommendation on bail made at the time, which he attributed to a mix-up involving state police.
“Our office did not reach out directly to the court,” Willis said. “Our practice is usually, if a bail recommendation is going to be made, it usually goes through the arresting agency.
“To that end, I have spoken with state police and made a recommendation as we have in the past,” Willis continues. “I think it may have been the fact that the pre-arraignment detainee procedures are newer and that the recommendation may or may not have made it into the proper channels.”
Lockwood then set bail in the amount of $100,000 cash, $500,000 secured bond. The Eriole case is also expected to go before a grand jury on Thursday.
In a new statement released Monday, Charles Murphy, president of the state police union, said “the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association is relieved that an appropriate bail amount” has been set.
“Once again, we commend Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Peter Willis for his dogged pursuit of justice and his advocacy for a higher bail amount on the additional weapons charge,” the statement reads. “We also appreciate Glenville Town Justice John Lockwood considering the complete circumstances and the life-altering nature of the case in assigning a higher bail amount.”
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.