Arson Trio returned to Capital Region

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Late Wednesday, the remaining two people charged in the Lansingburgh arson that left an 82-year-old woman dead, returned to the Capital Region.

They were transported from North Carolina and appeared for the first time in court Thursday.

All three suspects who are accused of playing a role in the May 1 arson on Second Avenue are now behind bars at the Rensselaer County Jail.

Thursday morning, Abbey Slaga and Tyler Smith were both arraigned on a single count of arson in the first degree.

Police saying the three fled to North Carolina, but hard work and help from other agencies, led them right to the trio accused of setting the deadly fire.

“They were looked at and we stayed on top of that and it was determined that they were going to be arrested on this charge and we had our ducks in a row and we were able to go grab them,” Troy Police Captain Dan DeWolf said.

DeWolf added that surveillance video and other evidence points to the trio.

“Surveillance video was just one piece of the pie, really,” DeWolf said. “I mean it goes back to old fashion police work; talking to people. That’s really what broke the case was talking to people, talking, talking, talking get more people to talk and tell what they knew about it.”

Once captured in North Carolina, they were charged as fugitives of justice.

All three waived their extradition hearings and were brought back to Troy to face the first degree arson charges.

All three pleaded not guilty.

“After the arrest is made obviously the prosecution of the suspects is in their hands, but that doesn’t mean it just ends for the police department,” DeWolf said. “It continues more, and more, and more because you want to build the best case possible.”

All three could face more charges, including murder in the death of Halpin from injuries she sustained from the fire.

Again, those additional charges depend on the results of tests, including the autopsy.

No word on when those results will be available.


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