Father, husband, community member, murdered by Troy police in April 2016

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  1. D.A. Joel Abelove Brings Sergeant French and the Shooting of Edson Thevenin to a Grand Jury

    Rensselaer County D.A. Joel Abelove presents the Edson Thevenin shooting to a Rensselaer County grand jury FIVE DAYS after the shooting occurred.

    For context, the quickest period of time that it took D.A. Abelove's office to bring a homicide case to a grand jury was FORTY days and the average time period was 170 days.

    During the grand jury testimony, Sergeant French is called as a witness by Abelove and allowed to testify without waiving his immunity. This gives French permanent immunity from prosecution for the killing of Edson Thevenin – 5 days after the murder and before any real investigation has occurred.

    This trial results in No True Bill-- a legal procedure to dismiss charges against a defendant when the grand jury does not find enough evidence to charge the defendant with violating a law. 1

    No wonder there was a No True Bill determination:

    On September 18, 2020, Antoine Karam, deputy chief investigator for the state attorney general’s office testified at the Abelove trial recounting “how he had obtained the sealed grand jury records from Abelove and reviewed its contents, finding no indication that the panel had been provided evidence from any firearms analysis, toxicology or autopsy reports, or a reconstruction of the shooting scene. 2

    No witness testimony was presented and there were no traffic cameras or dash cameras that recorded the situation. A bare minimum of evidence was provided at the grand jury trial.

    1. A "True Bill" is defined as "an endorsement made on a bill of indictment by a grand jury certifying it to be supported by sufficient evidence to warrant committing the accused to trial." Thus a "No True Bill" decision means there is not sufficient evidence to charge a defendant. W. J. Stewart, Collins Dictionary of Law (3rd ed.), 2006.
    2. Kenneth C. Crowe II, "Witness says grand jury saw scant evidence in fatal police shooting," The Times Union, September 18, 2020.
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