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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Schenectady man’s jury chosen for Saratoga robbery and car crash trial


BALLSTON SPA – A jury ⁣was selected Wednesday⁢ to determine the‍ case⁣ of Eliezer Gaetan, who is accused of crashing a ‍car⁢ into a Ballston home before attempting to ‌rob the residence.

Gaetan was⁢ arrested last February for an incident that allegedly ‌happened in the area of⁢ Charlton and Middle Line roads.

Gaetan, 42, of Schenectady, faces three charges, second degree​ attempted⁣ burglary, endangering the welfare of ⁤an ‍incompetent ‍person — a class E felony — ⁤and⁤ fourth-degree criminal mischief — a class ⁣A⁤ misdemeanor

The ‌trial is set to take place at ‌the Saratoga‌ County Courthouse in Ballston Spa, and opening arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday morning.

Throughout jury⁢ selection, Saratoga County Assistant‍ District Attorney Mary Northrop asked potential jurors about their meaning of “intent.”

“If I put this pen ‍down on the desk, what was my intent?” ‌Northrop asked jurors. “If I ⁢say, ‘I’m going to put this pen on the desk.’ and then I put it down on the desk, do you know what my⁢ intent was?”

Northrop ​asked potential jurors⁤ about their jobs, work history and any involvement they have had⁢ in the military.

Gaetan’s defense attorney, Jim Davis, told potential jurors that the burden of proof‌ in this ‍case is on the prosecution.

“I could literally put my head down on⁣ this table‍ and ‌do nothing,‍ and they [the prosecution] still have the burden,” Davis said.

Police responded to ‌a one-car crash shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 17. The driver was not ​on scene when troopers arrived, police said at the time. Troopers, however, soon found Gaetan inside a neighboring residence.

Davis warned potential jurors about a piece of video evidence that may be ‍used during this trial which he said would be “very ​disturbing.” He ‍also asked potential jurors ⁢if they would have any issues coming⁣ to a guilty verdict or if ⁤they would have any issues ‌with a person​ who learned English ‌as⁣ a second language, using a translator in court⁢ throughout the proceedings.

The case is being presided ‍over ‍by judge James Murphy III. He expects the trial‍ will last about‍ two weeks.

Stay tuned for⁤ updates on this developing case.

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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