BALLSTON SPA — An eight-count indictment involving a Vermont Sheriff’s Deputy in connection with a downtown Saratoga Springs incident late last year was dismissed in Saratoga County Court on Sept. 20.
The Nov. 20, 2022 incident allegedly involved an altercation between off-duty sheriff’s deputy Vito Caselnova of Glens Falls and three other men, and took place in the Caroline Street-Broadway downtown district. The event included a subsequent police response and resulted in an exchange of gunfire.
The indictment charged Caselnova with five felonies – including attempted murder in the second-degree, two misdemeanors, and one violation. Caselnova pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In his concluding comments of this week’s 31-page ruling, Judge James Murphy wrote that the cumulative impact of the prosecutor’s improper tactics during the presentation of the defendant’s case to the grand jury sufficiently impaired the integrity of the proceedings so as to potentially prejudice the ultimate decision reached by the Grand Jury and warrants dismissal of the indictment.
The case may be re-presented to a new grand jury.
In a statement released following the decision, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen noted that the court’s decision dismissal of the indictment “raised issues with the way the case was presented – it does not absolve Mr. Caselnova of any wrongdoing. We will take our time to thoroughly review the court’s concerns and will move forward with the case.”
Still standing are the charges filed against three other men allegedly involved in the incident. Alexander Colon, Darius A. Wright, and Christopher (AKA Christian) E. Castillo, were each charged with one count attempted assault in the third-degree, a misdemeanor, in connection with the incident. Each of the three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.