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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Police: Man tried to contact road rage trial witness

Police: Man tried to contact road rage trial witness

A Wilton man convicted last month of stabbing another man in a road rage incident was jailed Monday

A Wilton man convicted last month of stabbing another man in a road rage incident was jailed Monday after he allegedly tried to make indirect contact with a trial witness.

“This has been a witch hunt from the beginning,” Frank Soriano shouted immediately after his bail was revoked, as a court officer restrained him before taking him to a holding cell.

Soriano was convicted in September of stabbing the other driver after a minor traffic accident in Wilton in 2011.

Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano revoked Soriano’s $10,000 bail bond after a hearing Monday on allegations that Soriano attempted to contact a trial witness.

Soriano, 65, of Damascus Drive, Wilton, will now remain in the Saratoga County Jail without bail pending his sentencing on felony assault and weapons charges Nov. 29.

“I find the defendant’s actions to be unacceptable,” Scarano said.

Soriano was convicted Sept. 26 — after a six-day jury trial — of second-degree assault and possession of a weapon. He had previously been free on bail pending sentencing.

Soriano stabbed Jeffrey Streicher, 42, of Gloversville, at least three times after the two got into a confrontation over a minor accident on Northern Pines Road in Wilton on Sept. 20, 2011. Streicher also punched Soriano during the incident, according to witness accounts.

Soriano, a former state corrections officer, has maintained he was defending himself.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Sullivan sought to revoke Soriano’s bail because of an Oct. 18 incident in which Soriano drove to a school bus stop in front of an eyewitness’s house in the Wilton area. He asked two women standing there if either was the witness, then asked them to give the witness a message from him, thanking her for her testimony, Sullivan told the court. The witness notified the District Attorney’s Office.

“There is no reason for the defendant to be approaching witnesses,” Sullivan said.

Soriano’s attorney, Michael Koenig of Albany, said there was nothing intimidating about the message, and Soriano was legitimately on the street because his best friend lives there.

“He’s not out stalking witnesses, and that’s the clear implication [of the prosecution],” Koenig said.

Soriano potentially faces 21⁄3 to 7 years in state prison when Scarano sentences him Nov. 29.

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