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Columbia County DA will not appeal judge’s decision or present police-involved beating case to grand jury again

Dec 23, 2021 2:02 pm

Diane Valden reports in the Columbia Paper that Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka will not present a beating case involving a Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy to the grand jury again after Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek dismissed several charges against the four defendants on Dec. 10. Czajka could have appealed the judge’s decision or presented the case to the grand jury again. Instead, he will go to trial with far fewer, and lesser, charges. Koweek dismissed second degree gang assault charges against all four defendants, and some other charges after four people beat Harold Handy of Kinderhook to near-death at the home of a sheriff's deputy on July 5, 2020. The judge said there was insufficient evidence for the gang assault charges against former Valatie gym owner Alex Rosenstrach, 38; County Sheriff's Deputy Kelly Briscoe Rosenstrach, 34; IRS law enforcement agent Bryan Haag, 37, and Cory Gaylord, 31, a contractor. Handy was hospitalized for two days and needed two surgeries because of the beating he took at the home of the Rosenstrachs on County Route 21. He had a large hematoma over his left eye, and a broken orbital bone and one of the surgeries was to put a "plate" to cover the area where the operation was performed, according to the judge's decision. Pretrial hearings on the few remaining charges will be held over two days starting April 4, 2022 at 9:15 a.m. Read more about this story in the Columbia Paper.

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