Five more face manslaughter charge in girl’s death

AUSTERLITZ—Heidi Tranberg-Bennett, 47, and Steven Bennett, 58, both of Austerlitz, were each charged with second degree manslaughter November 2 in connection with the negligent death of their 12-year-old daughter, Evanna.

Now five more people each face the same charge in connection with the girl’s death, according to a December 1 press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Cesar Ryan Torres, 33; Venuska Tranberg-Bennett, 26; Svenia Tranberg-Bennett, 19; Tevania Tranberg-Bennett, 23; and Petrevena Tranberg-Bennett, 21, all from Austerlitz and all relatives of the victim, were charged with second degree manslaughter, a class C felony, December 1 and were arraigned before County Court Judge Richard Koweek. The charges stem from follow-up in the investigation into the 12-year-old’s death. Read more…

Nighttime gunshots lead to charges against Clermont man

CLERMONT—A Sheriff’s deputy and investigator were checking out an Environmental Conservation (EnCon)-related complaint in Clermont when they heard a gunshot nearby after dark, November 27 at 5:20 p.m.

An investigation by Deputy Daniel Keyser and Senior Investigator Foster revealed that a Peter Kilmer, 56, of Clermont had allegedly fired at a deer from a barn on his property.

EnCon Officer James Davi responded to the scene to charge him with Department of Environmental Conservation violations. Read more…

Sheriff says death of woman in pond not suspicious

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, investigators and deputies work at a Claverack pond where a body was found, November 19. Photo contributed

CLAVERACK—A body found floating in a pond off Schroeder Road, November 19 at 12:46 p.m. was that of a middle-aged woman, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, investigators and deputies were on the scene.

Investigators identified the woman the following day, but were not releasing her name pending notification of family members. An autopsy was performed November 20 at Ellis Hospital.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that “at this time the death does not appear to be suspicious and the investigation is continuing.”

Lieutenant John Rivero told The Columbia Paper there were no further updates as of press time Tuesday and that the Sheriff’s Office was awaiting toxicology reports. Read more…

State Police investigate Philmont blaze

An unoccupied house on Prospect Street in Phimont was gutted by fire November 13. Firefighters from eight companies responded to the blaze. Photo by Lance Wheeler

PHILMONT—State Police from Livingston were called in by the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team to assist with the investigation into a house fire at 31 Prospect Street, November 13 at 12:26 a.m.

The house was vacant, State Police Senior Investigator Eric Barnes told The Columbia Paper this week. He said his agency was called in because there were questions about the cause of the blaze and the fire is being investigated as a crime. No one was injured in connection with the fire.

Philmont firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad were initially called. Mutual aid was summoned from Mellenville, Claverack, Greenport, Hudson, Churchtown, Ghent and Livingston fire companies. Read more…

Woman jailed after handgun fired at police officer

GALLATIN—A woman who allegedly fired a gun at police is now in the Columbia County Jail.

Madison A. Kreutzer, 34, of Hudson was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, a class A-1 felony, by State Police from the Livingston barracks, November 9 at 9 p.m.

Troopers responded to Doodletown Road in Gallatin for a barricaded subject. The initial call was about a suspicious person. Read more…