Handy trial resumes with new judge
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that the Harold Handy beating case is back in court, in front of a different judge, on Feb. 16. Judge Richard Koweek recently recused himself from the matter, but the reason why has not been released. State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Marcelle now oversees the proceedings. Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Kelly Rosenstrach; her husband, gym owner Alex Rosenstrach; IRS agent Bryan Haag; and contractor Corey Gaylord were initially indicted on gang assault charges for the beating of Handy in Kinderhook in 2020. Handy was beaten so severely he was eventually taken to the intensive care unit of Albany Medical Center after attending a 2020 July Fourth party at the Rosenstrachs' home. State Police took over the investigation from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, since their own officers were accused. Koweek dropped the top charges in December 2021 after the defendants' attorneys in the criminal case appealed. Jury selection in the case was set to begin last November was abruptly adjourned after a private conference between Koweek and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka, who is prosecuting the case. The minutes of that discussion have been sealed, so the reason for the delay is unknown. The trial was suspended five days after Haag's attorney filed a subpoena for information about negotiations between a private attorney employed by the Rosenstrachs and a private attorney for Handy, to find out if a payout was discussed that would have hinged on the four defendants not being indicted. Read more about this story in the Times Union.