Trio arrested in connection with fatal Lansingburgh fire

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The trio suspected of setting fire to the Second Avenue building on May 1 is now behind bars in North Carolina.

“Three arrests have been made in connection with the May 1 arson at 520 and 518 Second Ave. in the city of Troy,” Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said.

Police say 24-year-old Tyler Smith, of Castleton, 21-year-old Abby Slaga and 22-year-old David Stanley, both of East Greenbush, were all arrested within the last 48 hours in Raleigh, North Carolina. They face first degree arson charges in New York.

“Currently, they’re charged with arson in the first degree, and pending further tests, there may be additional charges,” Tedesco continued.

Troy Police say old fashioned police work caught the three defendants. They also said there are no other suspects at this point. Police wouldn’t comment on a motive, but say all three could face more charges.

Those additional or upgraded charges could be murder after 82-year-old Grace Halpin died last week from the injuries she sustained from the fire.

“Those tests still have not come back, yet, and depending on the toxicology test of the victim and other tests on other materials that were collected, additional charges could be lodged or upgraded,” Tedesco said.

There is no word on when the toxicology results are expected.

Smith, Slaga and Stanley have been charged as fugitives. A key piece of the investigation has surrounded surveillance video from the night of the fire. It captured three people running form the building shortly after the fire started.

Police could not say if the trio arrested are the same three people seen in the video.

“We haven’t ascertained that to any degree of certainty at this point,” Tedesco said. “You’ve seen the film, so we’re trying to corroborate that at this point.”

Police said the investigation will continue while they wait for the three defendants’ extradition, which will happen one of two ways.

“The defendants will be arraigned down in North Carolina,” Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove said. “If they decide to waive extradition, they’ll be up here sooner rather than later. If they do not waive extradition, then it’s incumbent upon my office to seek a governor’s warrant.”

Stanley waived extradition on Friday. The other two defendants are expected in court on Monday.

Tyler Smith
Tyler Smith
David Stanley
David Stanley

 

Abby Slaga in custody in North Carolina (Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office)
Abby Slaga in custody in North Carolina (Franklin Co. Sheriff’s Office)

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