Jury convicts arsonist; attempted murderer pleads

HUDSON—A Columbia County Jury convicted Barry Goldstein, 76, of Stockport of first degree insurance fraud and third degree arson, January 15, with Judge Richard M. Koweek presiding.

Mr. Goldstein committed the crimes in Stockport. He intentionally employed the assistance of another to set fire to his house in an attempt to fraudulently collect on an insurance policy of more than $1 million, according to a press release from Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka.

The judge will sentence Mr. Goldstein, March 13 at 1 p.m.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Senior Investigators Kevin Skype and Mark Dunspaugh, Investigators Reagan Anderson and Patrick Logue handled the case in conjunction with New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control Investigators Richard Daus and John Fairclough.

The district attorney commended all, specifically, Investigators Reagan Anderson, Patrick Logue, Fire Investigators Daus and Fairclough, and the trial work of ADA Joyce Crawford.

“I am most particularly relieved and grateful that no firefighters, who risked their lives, were injured.”

DA Czajka and ADA Crawford prosecuted. The defendant is represented by Roy Nestler, Esq.

Also in county court January 15, Jesus Figueroa, 26, of the Bronx was convicted by a plea of guilty, as indicted, for second degree attempted murder, first degree assault, and two counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon. Judge Koweek presided.

Mr. Figueroa committed the crimes in the Town of Copake, October 27.

He shot Cody Curtis, 22, of Copake six times at a Halloween party in the early morning hours of October 27. Mr. Curtis, who was initially hospitalized and underwent surgery was later released.

What was supposed to be a small gathering for several friends got out of hand when more than 60 people showed up after learning of the party on social media, police said at the time.

State Police Senior Investigator Eric Barnes and Investigator Craig Morrison; the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hudson Police Department investigated the case and arrested Mr. Figueroa.

DA Czajka commends State Police for their tireless efforts in this extremely complex and time-consuming investigation. The court will sentence Mr. Figueroa March 13 at 1 p.m.

ADAs Ryan Carty and Crawford prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office. William Galvin, Esq. represents Mr. Figueroa.

Police: Effort to hide stolen goods leads to charges

GREENPORT—A male suspect was apprehended after a multi-agency search that started at the Walmart Supercenter, 460 Fairview Avenue, the morning of January 19.

According to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett, deputies were called to the store to investigate the larceny of merchandise. Though the incident was initially reported as “a shooting” at the store, there was no weapon involved in the incident, the sheriff said in the release.

Columbia County 911 received a call from Walmart loss prevention employees at 10:26 a.m. that morning, saying they had confronted a man leaving the store without paying for merchandise. The man then ran from the store.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they were informed that a man fled into the woods in the area south of the store and a woman was seen with the man prior to the crime.

Deputies, with assistance from State Police, began a search of the wooded area around Walmart.

The woman, later identified as Shannan Kipp, was located at the Greenport Mobil Station and interviewed. A short time later, the man was apprehended behind the Game Stop in the Greenport Commons Plaza.

Identified as Everett G. Rasso, 37, of Hudson, he was charged with concealing and destroying physical evidence, a class E felony; petit larceny and resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors.

Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Wayne Lopez said Mr. Rasso allegedly took a radio and various other items and then allegedly tried to prevent police from recovering the stolen items.

Ms. Kipp, 28, also of Hudson, was charged with providing a false written statement, class a misdemeanor.

Mr. Rasso and Ms. Kipp were both issued appearance tickets returnable in Greenport Court, January 27.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Undersheriff John Davi, Captain John DeRocha, Senior Investigator William Foster, Sergeant Eli Fieser, Deputies Ryen Boehme and Andrew Horst.

Drugs/alcohol

The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

• Cherie A. Lane-Smith, 46, of Canaan was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) by State Police from New Lebanon, January 3. She was traveling on State Route 20 in New Lebanon, when she was interviewed during a DWI safety checkpoint. An investigation revealed she was under the influence of alcohol. She was subsequently arrested.

• William H. Salisbury, 23, of Rensselaer was charged with DWI by State Police from Kinderhook, January 4. Mr. Salisbury was traveling on County Route 28 in Kinderhook, when he was stopped for a violation of the vehicle and traffic law. An investigation revealed he was under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently arrested.

• Serena M. Martin, 34, of Acra was charged with aggravated DWI Leandra’s Law, a class E felony, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, by State Police from Livingston, January 5. Ms. Martin traveled to Stewart’s Shop on State Route 9G in Greenport, where a friend asked the store clerk to call 911 due to a possible overdose. An investigation revealed she was allegedly under the influence of drugs with a child under 16 in the vehicle; that she allegedly possessed 0.8 grams of heroin, and a small amount of Naloxone. Ms. Martin was subsequently arrested.

• Megan E. Shackett, 40, of New Lebanon was charged with DWI, a misdemeanor, and first degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a class E felony, by State Police from New Lebanon, January 5. Ms. Shackett was traveling on State Route 22 in New Lebanon, when she was stopped for a violation of the vehicle and traffic law. An investigation revealed she was under the influence of alcohol. She was subsequently arrested.

To contact Diane Valden email .

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