Updated: January 13, 2020 06:26 PM
Created: January 13, 2020 12:03 PM
ALBANY -- 52-year-old Paul Barbaritano of Albany was first charged with manslaughter in July of last year when police say they found the body of 29-year-old Nicole Jennings in his Brevator Street home.
Then came a new year and new criminal justice reforms, and a slew of bail review hearings.
Barbaritano, who was being held in jail, was released at the beginning of this month.
"So him being out is allowing him to get in-patient mental health treatment, to get treatment for his drug addiction, and really be better able to help me defend him," his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rebekah Sokol, told us that day.
Now a grand jury has indicted him on a murder charge, which prosecutors say had nothing to do with bail reform or his release, and everything to do with evidence and the investigation into what happened to Jennings.
"And one of the ways that you can determine that is through very extensive, thorough autopsies. and in this instance that's exactly what we have, what we were waiting on, and once you obtain that evidence, then you pursue a grand jury indictment," said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
Police and prosecutors have been sounding the alarm about some of the consequences of the new criminal justice reforms.
Soares says it's been chaos since they took effect and that now, if the legislature wants to make some changes, there are no easy fixes.
"But if I had to pick one thing right now, is dangerousness," he said. "You have to allow for a court to consider dangerousness, and to make a decision that is based upon that so that the rest of the community can feel safe."
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