Former DA Abelove's trial begins
Sep 14, 2020 1:00 pm
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union the trial of former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove is scheduled to begin Mon., Sep. 14. Abelove is facing prosecutorial misconduct charges about how he handled a grand jury investigating a fatal police shooting case, as well as felony first-degree perjury arising from his own testimony before a grand jury about another police shooting. If convicted on the felony perjury charge under state law Abelove would lose his license to practice law; he lost re-election in 2019, and has been in private practice ever since. Abelove has by-passed a jury trial, opting for a bench trial instead. Acting State Supreme Court Justice Jonathan D. Nichols of Columbia County is presiding and will decide the outcome. Abelove’s case resulted from his decision to go to a county grand jury just days after Troy police Sgt. Randall French fatally shot Edson Thevenin on April 17, 2016, during a DWI traffic stop. That grand jury declined to prosecute French. Abelove was later indicted for official misconduct for not presenting evidence of where the bullets hit Thevenin’s car and for failing to have French waive his immunity from prosecution when he testified. French died earlier this year from COVID-19. The perjury count stemmed from when Abelove testified that Officer Josh Comitale had not waived his immunity during the investigation of his fatal 2015 shooting of Thaddeus Faison. Read the full story in the Times Union.