MALONE — A Plattsburgh man accused of trying to kill a romantic rival will learn shortly if statements he gave State Police can be used against him at trial.
Daniel DeCarlo II, 29, who was also a confidential-police informant until his arrest, faces two counts of second-degree attempted murder and one count each of first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and first-degree burglary in the alleged attack on Jeffrey Durant, 32, of 1327 Duane Street Road, on June 26, 2011.
Durant, who was dating DeCarlo’s former girlfriend, was allegedly struck on the head several times with a crowbar and suffered a fractured skull.
Two alleged accomplices have pleaded guilty and have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against DeCarlo.
His trial is scheduled to start July 24.
A year and three days after the alleged crime, DeCarlo was in Franklin County Court for a Huntley hearing Friday, listening as two State Police investigators described his appearance, actions and reactions during seven hours of interrogation.
Judge Robert G. Main Jr. will make his determination about admitting a DVD of the conversation into evidence after he views a two-hour portion prosecutors want him to see.
Senior Investigator Bureau of Criminal Investigation Joseph Tatro was the first witness called by Assistant District Attorney Gary Pasqua.
Tatro was sent to Alice Hyde Medical Center to interview Durant and was told one or two people had attacked him and that he recognized one as “Dan,” his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
Tatro investigated a report of a suspicious vehicle at the Malone Recreation Park, learned the car was registered to the DeCarlo family and was then sent to the Malone Golf Course to look into a report of a suspicious person.
The investigator said he found DeCarlo sitting on a bench in the men’s locker room, soaking wet, wearing a green shirt with a trash bag pulled over his head like a poncho.
Tatro arrested and handcuffed the suspect and took him to the barracks to begin the questioning after reading the man his rights.
DeCarlo told him three guys in Plattsburgh, who he only knew by their first names, “were looking for a fight” and that he told them he had someone they could beat up.
DeCarlo said he gave the trio old clothes, brought them to the Rec Park at about 4:45 a.m. and gave them the address to Durant’s house while he stayed behind and went fishing.
He told Tatro he nearly drowned, and as the probe continued and two more people were arrested by other investigators while the interview was still going on, “we learned it was a fabrication.”
REMAINS IN JAIL
Investigator Chad Tavernia of the Troop B State Police Narcotics Enforcement Unit in Ray Brook testified he joined the investigation because he had a prior relationship with DeCarlo.
“He was a confidential informant, and I was the controlling agent,” he said.
He took over the final five hours of DeCarlo’s interview, which was recorded on DVD, when Tatro was called out to speak with the other two people arrested in the alleged attack.
Brendon Collins, 20, pleaded guilty in April to first-degree burglary and is expected to be sentenced to six years in state prison on Oct. 1.
Todd Knudson, 20, has also agreed to testify in exchange for a state-prison sentence not to exceed 2 1/3 to seven years.
During a previous proceeding, testimony revealed that they walked into Durant’s home through a sliding-glass door and found him asleep on the couch.
DeCarlo allegedly had a crowbar with him and, reportedly, struck the sleeping man on the head, which caused him to wake up and fight back.
Knudson said Collins held Durant in a headlock while DeCarlo continued to strike him in the head.
Knudson and Collins fled to the golf course, went back to the Rec Park and called someone to give them a ride back to Plattsburgh.
Durant was initially treated at Alice Hyde Medical Center then transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
DeCarlo remains in County Jail on $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 insurance bond.
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