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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, June 1

Court cases in holding patterns

Steven Feldman was in court on Friday to plead guilty to one of the four counts levied against him for faking his credentials as a psychologist while seeing patients for Family and Supreme Court.
Because of some crossed wires (Clinton County DA and judge working in Saratoga County) his case wasn't on the docket or publicized so all of the news agencies only found out he was in court after the fact.
I had been calling about it frequently in months past to make sure I didn't miss it and kept being told it wasn't yet scheduled only to find out about it after he pleaded guilty.

That prompted me to make a series of calls around on other cases still pending.

-Alexander Grant's toxicology report is still out. The coroner said he expects it imminently but at this point the case can't move forward without knowing what he had in his system the night he died.

-Katherine Seeber has a couple of more weeks for the defense or prosecution to submit any further paperwork (evidence, motions, etc.). Then the judge will decide whether the fact that a lab tech may have fudged some of the results in her case to indicate he had performed tests he never did is enough to toss out her guilty plea. According to her lawyers-- a NYC firm representing her pro bono-- her decision to plead guilty hinged on the forensic evidence. However, according to ADA Dick Wendling there was overwhelming evidence other than the forensic evidence in question. The evidence is a pair of gloves worn when Jeffrey Hampshire or Seeber strangled her step great-grandmother with an electrical cord. She maintains it was Hampshire, but he was acquitted of the charges despite her testimony to that.
Here is a video of Seeber being brought into court during the last hearing date May 20. Erica Miller, myself and Drew Kerr from the Post Star were all waiting to get photos and video of her as she entered court (commonly known as the "Perp Walk") and the corrections officers from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility told us we couldn't photograph her. "You aren't authorized," the female officer told us (we consulted police contacts and they told us we were within our rights). We kept filming and through the video you can hear the intrepid snap of Erica's camera.

-Jeffery Hampshire is also awaiting a decision by the court. He is still waiting to hear whether a judge will rule him a persistent felony offender-- a decision that will send him to prison for a significantly longer sentence than the two to four year stint he is otherwise sure to receive as a predicate felony offender. He was convicted of felony evidence tampering in January, his third felony conviction in a decade. After sentencing he will be eligible for an appeal-- something he will surely pursue if he is found to be a persistent offender.

There are a few other cases on our radar here at the paper, but those seem to be the major ones. I will be in court tomorrow to cover Charles O. Sharp in city court. He was the man who allegedly absconded with about $3,000 from Uncommon Grounds and then disappeared for a few days so that story will be online tomorrow and in print Friday.

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