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DA: Murder charge for Albany man in death case at center of bail reform controversy

DA: Murder charge for Albany man in death case at center of bail reform controversy

He now faces up to 25 years to life in state prison, if convicted
DA: Murder charge for Albany man in death case at center of bail reform controversy
Paul Barbaritano
Photographer: Albany County District Attorney (inset), shutterstock (background)

ALBANY - The Albany man previously charged with manslaughter and released earlier this month under the recent bail reform statute has now been indicted on a murder charge in the case, Albany County District Attorney's officials said Monday.

Paul Barbaritano, 52, now faces an upgraded count of second-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Nicole Jennings, a crime that is not among those included in the automatic release provision of bail reform.

Barbaritano had previously been charged with second-degree manslaughter in Jennings' July 5 death inside 8 Brevator Street in Albany.

Second-degree manslaughter is one of the charges included in the bail reform statute and Barbaritano was released earlier this month without bail. 

His release has been cited by bail reform opponents as an example of a defendant released under the new law who shouldn't have been. 

According to CBS6, Barbaritano's defense contends he did not cause her death. Instead, his defense contends he tried to save her by trying to remove a karate belt she had placed around her own neck. He noticed it was too tight and choking her and he tried to cut it off her, accidentally cutting her.

Officers responded to the address over concerns Barbaritano may harm himself. They arrived to find him with self-inflicted stab wounds and they also found the body of Jennings.

Barbaritano is due to be arraigned on the new murder charge Wednesday in Albany County Court. An Albany County District Attorney's release did not indicate whether Barbaritano would be taken into custody ahead of the Wednesday court appearance.

Jennings was a graduate of Galway Central High School and previously worked as a housekeeper for the Red Roof Inn in Clifton Park, according to her obituary. She had one son.

Previous, CBS6: Man charged with manslaughter in connection to July stabbing released from jail, Jan. 2, 2020

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