Barry Goldstein, convicted of Stockport arson, dies while in prison

HUDSON—Barry Goldstein, 77, recently convicted and sentenced to time in state prison, died in the Coxsackie Correctional Facility, a maximum security state prison in Greene County, December 25 at 5:13 p.m.

Mr. Goldstein was incarcerated at the Coxsackie Regional Medical Unit. The official cause of death will be determined and released by the Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office pursuant to County Law, according to an emailed statement from the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. State coroners and medical examiners determine the cause of death, according to the law, which “leaves it to coroners and medical examiners to determine if results will be released and to whom. All deaths in the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s facilities are reviewed by the State Commission of Correction.

Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said by phone this week that Mr. Goldstein had recently been diagnosed with a “serious illness.” An obituary for Mr. Goldstein appears on page 17 of this issue.

Mr. Goldstein was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 6 to 18 years in state prison by Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek, December 22.

Mr. Goldstein hired a man to set fire to his home at 290 Route 25 in Stockport, October 1, 2017 for a $1 million insurance payout.

He was found guilty of first-degree insurance fraud, a class B felony and third-degree arson, a class C felony after a nine-day jury trial that concluded January 15.

DA Czajka, who prosecuted this case at trial with Assistant District Attorney Joyce Crawford, complimented her work as well as that of Columbia County Sheriff’s Investigators Reagan Anderson, Patrick Logue and K.C. Bauhoff; and New York State Fire Investigator John Fairclough, in a press release.

The DA reserved his greatest praise and gratitude for firefighters from Stockport, Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Falls, Stottville, West Ghent, Greenport, Claverack, Niverville, and Ghent who risked their lives fighting this massive fire.

Judge Koweek ordered Mr. Goldstein to pay $52,993 in restitution. Delmar-based attorney Roy Nestler represented the defendant.


Heath Harrison

Heath E. Harrison, 46, of Valatie was charged with first degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a class B felony; first degree criminal sexual act, a class B felony, and three counts of first degree sex abuse, class D felonies, December 29 at 8:38 p.m.

Sheriff David P. Bartlett reported in a press release that Investigators Thomas Merante Jr. and K.C. Bauhoff began an investigation on December 9 after receiving a referral from the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office.

During the course of their investigation it was discovered that the victim in this case made disclosures allegedly implicating Mr. Harrison. In this case, the alleged sexual acts occurred in the Town of Chatham and Village of Valatie from 2014 to 2018, when the victim was between the ages of 7 and 12 years old.

Mr. Harrison was arraigned in Chatham Town Court before Justice Michael Rosen, where an order of protection was issued for the victim in this case. Mr. Harrison was sent to the Columbia County Jail with no bail. He is due back in Chatham Town Court at a later date.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by the Child Advocacy Center of Columbia-Greene Counties, the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Department of Social Services and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.

“As always, our desire and ability to work well with other professional agencies made this arrest possible,” the sheriff said in the release.

The investigation is continuing and Sheriff Bartlett urges anyone with information regarding this individual, to contact Investigator Merante of the Criminal Investigation Branch at 518-828-3344.


Shamal Grandoit

Shamal S. Grandoit, 26, of Poughkeepsie was charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony, by Deputies John Sullivan and Michael Meier, December 25 at 4:32 a.m.

Mr. Grandoit was stopped for a vehicle traffic violation and found to be unlicensed and in possession of the loaded handgun. He was arraigned before Greenport Town Justice Barry Sack and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 secured bond. He was due back in Greenport Court at a later date.


State Police from the Kinderhook barracks remind citizens to properly secure their vehicles at all times due to an increase in vehicle break-ins and thefts.

Over the December 26 weekend State Police in Kinderhook investigated 12 vehicle break-in incidents. All but one of the vehicles were unlocked with valuables left inside.

People should always lock their vehicles, even in their own driveways; close all windows including sunroofs; park in well-lit areas; never leave a vehicle unattended while it is running; never leave keys, valuables, or personal identification in a vehicle.

Drugs / alcohol

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

•Jarod Pasinello, 22, of Averill Park was charged with driving while intoxicated; operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .10%; third degree aggravated unlicensed operator—all misdemeanors, and traffic infractions of failure to keep right, parked on highway, and refusal to take a roadside breath test, by Deputies Stephen Naegeli and Jordan Brahm, December 12 at 10:02 p.m. Deputies received a call for shots fired in the Town of Chatham and found Mr. Pasinello’s vehicle in the roadway on County Route 17. Upon arrival of patrol, Mr. Pasinello was coming out of the woods with another individual. It was determined that Mr. Pasinello had driven the vehicle to the scene and he was in an allegedly intoxicated state. He is due to return to Chatham Town Court at a later date to answer the charges.

*Kathryn Bianchini, 28, of Albany was charged with aggravated DWI—operating a vehicle with a passenger less than 16 (Leandra’s Law), a class E felony; operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, a class A misdemeanor; three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor; seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class a misdemeanor, by Deputies Michael Meier and Ryen Boehme, December 6 at 12:13 a.m.

Ms. Bianchini was arrested following a 911 call about an erratic driver in the Town of Ghent. Deputies quickly located the suspect vehicle which had a blown out tire from striking a curb. While identifying the driver, she was found to allegedly be under the influence of prescription medication and had three child passengers in the vehicle. After unsuccessfully completing the standardized field sobriety tests, she was taken into custody and charged. Ms. Bianchini was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Barry Sack and released on her own recognizance. She was due to return to Ghent Court at a later date to answer the charges.

To contact Diane Valden email

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