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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Accused Schenectady killer takes drug sale plea

Accused Schenectady killer takes drug sale plea

A woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death in August pleaded guilty Friday to unrelated drug

A woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death in August pleaded guilty Friday to unrelated drug charges, offenses she had been sought for at the time of the fatal stabbing.

Jacqueline Smalls, 50, had been set to go to trial next week, accused of two drug sales in May 2012. Smalls instead accepted a plea deal Friday offered directly by acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino, pleading guilty to two felony counts each of criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

Counts related to the earlier of the two sales, from May 15, were taken under what is called an Alford plea. The special form of plea allowed Smalls to plead guilty despite denying the facts. Smalls’ attorney, Adam Parisi, said later that Smalls admits to the second of two sales, on May 24, but denies the first.

Parisi argued afterward that a video of the first sale did not get a good enough shot of the seller. Despite that, Giardino asked prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham if she felt she could prove the charges at trial. Tremante-Pelham indicate she could and Giardino accepted the plea.

Smalls faces up to four years in prison for the sales. Giardino, however, told Smalls part of the deal is that the sentence would run at the same time as any sentence in the homicide.

Smalls was arraigned earlier in the week on one count of second-degree murder, accused of killing her longtime boyfriend Adrian L. King, 51, at their 1512 Van Vranken Ave. apartment Aug. 26.

Earlier in 2012, King was charged three separate times with either choking Smalls or preventing her from calling police, court records have indicated. After King’s killing, though, police said there was no evidence he attacked her the night of his death.

Parisi indicated after Smalls’ arraignment that police didn’t look for evidence that King attacked her the night of the killing.

At the time of the killing, police were already seeking Smalls on the drug charges. They even encountered her in late July, when Smalls was charged in an incident in which she was deemed the victim. Smalls, though, wasn’t arrested then because the drug arrest warrant didn’t show up in the police computer system.

The problem was traced in part to communication issues between the district attorney’s office and police department. The warrant had been issued for a similar, but different, Jacqueline Smalls.

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