Grand jury action may be tied to police shooting

September 20, 2017 06:58 PM

A grand jury is being impaneled in Rensselaer County and NewsChannel 13 was the only station inside the courtroom. It’s a story we broke on Twitter Wednesday. We have reason to believe it concerns the deadly police shooting of Edson Thevenin.

The attorney general is investigating the clearing of police by Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove.

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It was 19 months ago when a Troy police sergeant gunned down Thevenin in April of 2016.

It took less than two hours on Wednesday afternoon for state prosecutors to impanel a grand jury. Once that happened, those 23 grand jurors began to hear part of the case that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to make against someone.

NewsChannel 13 was the only TV station inside the grand jury room when the proceedings began. It’s still unclear whether the attorney general is reopening the Thevenin case, the motorist shot and killed by a Troy police officer in April 2016, or if he’s targeting Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove for his handling of the Thevenin case.

Troy Police Sergeant Randall French was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting of Thevenin by a county grand jury four days after the incident. Also, keep in mind the attorney general investigators seized Abelove’s cell phone and other potential evidence in this case.

Abelove’s attorney tells NewsChannel 13 he assumes his client is the target of the investigation, but also that he doesn’t think Abelove has anything to worry about. He thinks the truth is on his side.

There’s also a possibility that Sgt. French could be a target of this investigation.

Just because someone is the target of a grand jury probe, that doesn’t mean they have the right to testify in front of a grand jury -- even though they may want to.

NewsChannel 13 saw no signs of French or Abelove at the courthouse on Wednesday.

An attorney representing Abelove says he has not been notified about their wanting to have him appear before a grand jury.

The room is also booked for Thursday, so it’s assumed the grand jury proceedings will continue then.

NewsChannel 13 will be keeping an eye on everything and bring you updates online and on our newscasts.


WNYT Staff

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