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One year on and still no movement in the Harold Handy assault case

Jul 04, 2021 5:45 am

Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media it has been one year since a Kinderhook Independence Day party turned violent, but still no trial date has yet been set for those who stand accused of the alleged assault of Harold J. Handy III. The case has resulted in rallies, a countywide campaign for justice on Handy's behalf and a host of comments on social media. Handy was allegedly assaulted during a holiday party at the home of Alex Rosenstrach, the former owner of ClubLife Gym in Valatie and Columbia County Sheriff Deputy Kelly Briscoe Rosenstrach. The following October, four people were indicted: Kelly and Alex Rosenstrach, Bryan Haag of Kinderhook and Cory Gaylord of Craryville. The 25-count indictment included multiple felony charges against each defendant. Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka [CHAI-kah] and defense attorney William D. Roberts have both said there are no recent developments in the case. According to both, COVID has played a role in the case’s timeline. “It’s the same reason there haven’t been any trial dates for anything, any indictments, except the very oldest, Czajka said. “Because of the pandemic. Everything has been shut down.” Courts are beginning to reopen, scheduling dates for older matters, the DA said. But the trials now getting scheduled precede the Handy case by a substantial amount of time. “This is a problem that is not unique to Columbia County,” Czajka said. “It’s a problem throughout the state, and presumably the country." Czajka noted the amount of time that passed between the incident in July to October, when the indictments were handed up, was a different matter, but he declined to say more. During that time, the case drew scrutiny as people questioned jurisdiction and how the county sheriff could ethically investigate the incident given the Rosenstrachs' ties to area law enforcement. Roberts noted that it is not uncommon for a felony matter to take more than a year to reach trial. Many residents have spoken up in the past year in support of Handy, who owns Handy Repairs, an auto repair business. “I have enough hope in our justice system to believe after a three-month investigation, a grand jury and months of defense attorney motions that the indictments are accurate pertaining to this case,” Handy said last week. The court will soon hear motions and determine if the state's case is legally sufficient. Kelly Rosenstrach, who was suspended from the Sheriff’s Office, is still employed there, but Roberts claims to not know if she is a paid employee or not. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.