By JAIME STUDD
For the Express
JOHNSTOWN — A Fulton County grand jury indicted a St. Johnsville man last week on charges relating to the July 2010 robbery and assault of Brian Morrison.
Morrison, 42, of Johnstown, was found dead from a stab wound to the neck on Bleecker Street, in the city of Gloversville, on July 6, 2010.
According to Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira, authorities allege 29-year-old Derek Paul assaulted Morrison by punching him in the face and then stole his wallet.
But they are not alleging that Paul played a role in Morrison’s death.
“He’s not charged with Morrison’s death. He’s charged with beating him up and robbing him,” said Sira. “The theory of the investigation is, yes, these are two separate incidents.
“He didn’t die from the punch to the face,” she added. “He had a stab wound that caused his death.”
Paul has been charged with second- and third-degree robbery, second- and third-degree assault, and tampering with physical evidence.
“I know it brings a measure of comfort to Mr. Morrison’s family that those who played a role in committing crimes against him before his death are being brought to justice,” Sira said, in a Monday press release.
Just days after Morrison’s body was found, Gloversville police arrested 40-year-old Derek A. Kenney on suspicion of having been involved in Morrison’s death. But those charges were dismissed four months later, after grand jury proceedings were found to have been tainted by the false testimony of three witnesses.
“Derek Kenney was originally indicted. The charges were dropped because three women lied at (the) grand jury, so he didn’t get a fair shake,” said Sira. “Those three women were prosecuted.”
Stephanie L. Moore, 20, of Gloversville, Rebecca Abraham, 27, of Mayfield and Kayla Bowman, 23, of Johnstown were later indicted on charges stemming from their alleged roles in hindering the investigation.
Sira said the case has been a difficult one, further complicated by the testimony of the three women.
“The women failing to disclose vital information in the investigation presented a huge setback in the case,” said Sira.
In July of last year, Kenney filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Gloversville alleging his rights were violated when he was charged in Morrison’s death.
According to the press release, the investigation into Morrison’s death remains open and ongoing with the Gloversville Police Department. Sira said Kenney remains a suspect in Morrison’s death.
Paul was arraigned in Fulton County Court and remanded to the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail. He is scheduled to reappear in Fulton County Court on July 10, at 9:30 a.m.