Officials speak out after Caselnova indictment dismissed

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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One day after a judge tossed out an eight-count indictment that included an attempted murder charge, the attorney for Vito Caselnova and the Saratoga County district attorney are speaking out about the decision to drop the case.

Caselnova, who was involved in a shootout in November 2022 in Saratoga Springs, is currently facing no charges. But the case against him isn’t closed.

A grand jury in Saratoga County heard hours of testimony and watched video evidence of what happened early in the morning last November, which lead to the indictment against Caselnova. But after a judge dismissed the indictment, Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen and her office are back at square one.

“Clearly, we are going to take a look at what the judge has indicated that he thinks, given what was presented last time, as to what instruction should be given,” Heggen said. “We will take that very much into consideration.”

Judge James Murphy said the prosecution’s presentation to the grand jury was flawed. It “cannot be said to be fair in any sense of the word.”

“Everyone has an opinion, but what counts in the world of the criminal justice system is following rules of law and giving everyone involved in a case a fair process, and that’s what we believe we had done,” Heggen said. “The judge differs.”

As does Caselnova’s attorney, Greg Teresi, who filed the motion to dismiss on behalf of his client.

“The biggest issue with the presentation, and would’ve carried the day in and of itself, related to the way the district attorney’s office charged the grand jury with respect to self-defense,” he explained. “In New York State, we are allowed to defend ourselves during certain situations.”

The judge also raised issues with improper testimony, the line of questioning, and a lack of proper instructions on what the jury should consider. Though the decision agreed with many of the defendant’s complaints, the judge has allowed the option of re-presenting the case to a new grand jury.

“It certainly was a good day and good decision for us,” Teresi said. “It’s not over, and that’s why their direction to me and the defense team is to get ready.”

“Mr. Caselnova was not absolved of any wrongdoing at any point and time,” Heggen said.

The district attorney could not talk about any specific concerns detailed in length, because by law, she can’t talk about what happens in a grand jury proceeding. She did say her office will take their time to consider what was in the judge’s decision and move the case forward to re-present in front of a new grand jury. She did not give a timeline on when that would happen.

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