The trooper who left the body of a Northville man lying on a rural road early Sunday morning was suspended today by state police and charged with a felony.
Trooper Brian Beardsley, 32, of Amsterdam, was charged with a single count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said Beardsley was arraigned before Broadalbin town Justice Joseph W. Gilston Sr. and released after posting $10,000 bail.
Sheriff’s investigators said Monday they tracked a 911 call to the cell phone of Beardsley's girlfriend, who reported she and Beardsley were driving on County Route 110 about 2:40 a.m. Sunday when they saw something in the road and turned around. They confirmed it was a body, later identified as Chad Finch, 29.
Investigating officers confiscated Beardsley’s vehicle and found evidence on the vehicle that it had struck Finch. Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said there is no information to suggest any other vehicles were involved or came into contact with Finch.
Sira said an autopsy determined Finch died from multiple blunt force trauma consistent with being run over by a vehicle.
Deputies gave Beardsley a breath test Sunday, Sira said, but it determined his blood-alcohol content was below the legal level for driving while impaired or intoxicated.
Sira said she does not expect her office to handle Beardsley's prosecution because there are several cases he was involved in as a trooper that are currently pending in Fulton County.
Beardsley, who is stationed at the Mayfield state police barracks, was suspended without pay, Trooper Maureen Tuffey, spokeswoman for state police Troop G, confirmed in an e-mail. Tuffey refused to comment on an internal probe she said is routinely conducted any time an officer, whether on duty or off duty, is involved in a fatal incident.