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Attorneys in Schoharie limo crash case back in court

WNYT Staff
Updated: December 11, 2019 06:43 PM
Created: December 11, 2019 12:44 PM

The defense team representing the business operator charged in the deadly limousine crash in Schoharie still does not have all of the grand jury material and evidence promised by the district attorney for a November 15 deadline. 

Those ongoing discovery issues were discussed behind closed doors for nearly two-hours on Wednesday in Schoharie County Court, less than three months out from the upcoming trial of Nauman Hussain.

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Defense Attorney Lee Kindlon said the defense doesn't have all of those grand jury materials yet, but they are "getting there."

A missed deadline to fork over all transcripts and other evidence was re-visited for nearly two hours behind closed doors to insure as the judge put it "pre-trial matters get back on schedule." 

The trial date for the limo company operator charged in the crash that killed 20 people begins March 9. The defense team says it still does not have all of the grand jury transcripts the people promised to hand over by November 15.

After the lengthy closed-door conference, everyone made their way back to the courtroom where the judge announced discovery seems to be on track including the ongoing brake issue, then confirming the next conference meeting at court is slated for January 22 at 1:30.

The defense attorney had asked the judge to adjourn Wednesday's court conference because of that missed deadline. The judge refused, instead writing a terse letter ordering everyone to be at court, making it clear these issues need to be hashed out immediately with trial starting in less than 90 days.

Hussain is facing 20 counts each of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter after 20 people died in the crash last year. The prosecution argues Hussain failed to maintain the limo and it wasn't properly permitted to be on the road, failing inspection, including weeks before the crash. On January 1, New York state will require that all discovery materials must be provided to the defense within 15 days of an arraignment happening. Kindlon's letter made it clear they need those materials to prepare for the upcoming trial, which is quickly approaching in March.

The prosecution and defense attorneys declined to speak on camera. However, the district attorney recently informed the court about allegations of fraudulent billing practices at Mavis Saratoga, where the limo had been brought. Allegations that certain services on invoices were substituted for ones actually performed.

NewsChannel 13 continues working to get answers. We'll bring you any new info we get on WNYT.com and our later newscasts.


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