UPDATE… Ulster DA deflects blame for letting accused murderer walk free


KINGSTON – Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg claims that his refusal to participate in a trial against a man accused of murder is due to a judge’s rulings and motions made by defense attorney Brad White.

A jury trial slated to begin in Ulster County Court on Wednesday resulted in a man accused of murder being set free because the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office refused to participate in the trial.  Clegg’s office said the judge’s unfair rulings that prohibited certain evidence being presented made the case against Raymond Snyder difficult to prosecute.  When the DA’s office failed to appear in court, Snyder was set free by the judge.

“Based on the judge’s preclusion of all identification evidence connecting the defendant to the crime, including DNA evidence from the crime scene, the prosecution’s case was legally insufficient and rendered the trial a farce and a sham,” Clegg told Mid-Hudson News.  The case has been scrutinized from the beginning when the first of several prosecutors missed mandatory deadlines and failed to share evidence discovered with the defense attorney.

Snyder’s defense attorney, Brad White of the Dutchess County Conflict Defender office said that the DA’s office made several errors from the beginning when the initial prosecutor, Marco Caviglia, missed several discovery deadlines that have been in place for decades.  After that, Clegg’s office went through at least three additional assistant prosecutors before assigning Chief Assistant DA Emmanuel Nneji to the case.

When Clegg’s office failed to appear in court for the start of Wednesday’s trial, White made a motion for dismissal.  Judge Bryan Rounds dismissed the case with a “Trial Order of Dismissal,” setting Snyder free.    Clegg announced he would seek to re-indict Snyder but White pointed out that there are three exceptions to the double-jeopardy clause to re-try an accused murderer and “Those rare instances are not applicable in this case.”  White said “The People (Clegg) failed to prosecute which is tantamount to a jury returning a not-guilty verdict after trial.”

Adding controversy to the case, when Judge Rounds excluded certain evidence, the prosecutors told the judge they had filed an Article 78 appeal of his ruling, seeking an extension.  That claim appears to have been a falsehood.  ADA Nenji provided three different versions regarding the alleged filing.  According to sources, the  filing was finally submitted to the Appellate Division on Tuesday evening – without a judge’s signature, effectively invalidating the petition.

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