SCHENECTADY -- An inmate at the Fulton County Jail testified in Schenectady County Court on Tuesday that he was solicited by Tarchand Lall about killing a witness to Lall's alleged crimes.
Timothy Morris, who previously pleaded guilty to weapons possession and reckless endangerment charges, said the conversation with Lall occurred in July 2017 while the two were in Schenectady County Jail.
Even though Lall, who is on trial in the killing of Charles Dembrosky, and Morris were being held in different sections of the jail, Morris said they were able to interact during outside recreation time because there was only a fence that separated them.
Morris testified that he was trying to get bail set in his case when Lall approached him with a deal. He said Lall told him that depending on how much his bail was, he would pay it so Morris could get out and kill a witness in Lall's murder case.
Morris said Lall wanted him to give the witness, an alleged drug addict, a “bad dose of heroin” so he would overdose and not be able to testify during Lall’s murder trial.
The witness, according to prosecutors, was Chad Raymond, a man who testified on Monday that he did construction work for Lall throughout 2016.
Raymond also testified that he had a $250,000 life insurance policy that named Lall as the beneficiary. He said Lall, who paid the premiums on the policy, suggested the arrangement so he could take care of Raymond’s burial if one were necessary.
Morris testified during the third day of the trial. Lall is accused of hiring two hit men to kill Dembrosky, a man who also did some construction work for him, in November 2016. This occurred after Lall took out a $150,000 life insurance policy on Dembrosky, in which Lall was also named as the beneficiary.
Lall is currently facing first-degree murder charges in that case, as well as second-degree criminal solicitation charges for allegedly attempting to hire Morris to kill Raymond.
Lall faces a life in prison sentence if convicted of the murder charge.
Morris testified he led Lall to believe he was going to fulfill his request to kill Raymond, but only so he could get money to pay for bail. He later told prosecutor Peter Willis that he never intended to follow through with Lall’s request.
Morris also said he did not know who Raymond was before Lall had spoke to him about killing him.
During questioning from Willis, Morris said he had reached an agreement with the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office that in exchange for his testimony in the trial, his sentence would be capped at 9 years in prison. He further said that based on his testimony, a judge would consider giving him even less time.
Morris also testified that he was charged with burglary after he was arrested on the weapons possession and reckless endangerment charges. As part of the agreement, he would face a 9-year sentence that would run at the same time as his other sentence.
Cheryl Coleman, Lall’s defense attorney, questioned how Morris came to know about Lall. Morris testified he had learned about Lall through another inmate, and that he knew Lall had money.
Coleman asked whether Morris went to Lall to talk about having him pay for his bail, but Morris said that wasn’t the case. He said it was Lall who brought up paying for his bail.
“It just so happened he asked you that after you learned from another inmate that he had money,” Coleman asked.
“Yes,” Morris responded.
Lall’s trial comes after the two hit men he allegedly hired to kill Dembrosky were convicted following their trials in May.
Ex-con Joevany Luna is serving life in prison for killing Dembrosky, while Kyshaan Moore is serving a 25-year sentence in prison for driving Luna to Schenectady from Delaware.
Prosecutors were able to prove their case during that trial by using cellphone tower records, data from license plate readers, street surveillance cameras and wiretaps. All of the evidence produced a digital record of the crime being planned and executed.
Some of the evidence showed the last three calls recorded to Dembrosky’s phone were from a number investigators eventually tied to Luna.
The trial will resume on Wednesday before Judge Matthew Sypniewski