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…

Police charge Hudson man after woman screams for help

HUDSON—City Police arrested a parolee following a domestic dispute, October 21.

Jordan Couitt, 29, of Hudson was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing/blood circulation, class A misdemeanor; endangering the welfare of a child, class A misdemeanor; fourth degree criminal mischief (prevent communication), a class A misdemeanor; fourth degree criminal mischief (intentionally damage property), a class A misdemeanor; second degree harassment, a violation; second degree unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation; and on a New York State Parole Warrant for a violation of parole.

At 7:02 a.m. on the above date, Columbia County 911 transferred a call to Hudson Police reporting a domestic dispute in the area of Columbia Turnpike. The caller stated that a woman was screaming for help. Read more…

Sheriff’s Office arrests couple for negligent death of their 12 year old

AUSTERLITZ—Sheriff David P. Bartlett reports the arrest of Heidi Tranberg-Bennett, 47, and Steven Bennett, 58, both of Austerlitz, for the death of their 12-year-old daughter.

On December 3, 2019 at approximately 5:28 p.m., EMS and deputies responded to the Tranberg- Bennett residence for a 12-year-old in cardiac arrest.

Steven Bennett and Heidi Tranberg-Bennett in County Court on November 2. They were charged in the death of their 12-year-old daughter. Photo by Lance Wheeler

This case is a collective effort including the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, the Columbia County Department of Social Services Child Protective Unit, the Dutchess County Child Advocacy Center, Ellis Hospital and the Chatham Rescue Squad.

Both Heidi Tranberg-Bennett and Steven Bennett appeared before Judge Richard Koweek on November 2, were arraigned on Manslaughter 2nd charges and released on their own recognizance. They did arrive to the Sheriff’s Office for processing after their court appearance and were released. The couple was ordered by the court to personally appear at Columbia County Probation on two set days a week for monitoring.

Sheriff Bartlett said, “I am grateful to all who spent countless hours working on this case, and to those who will continue to work hard until this matter is resolved. This was a true team effort by all persons and agencies involved.”