TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Prosecutors were expected to close the book on a high-profile double murder case from two years ago, but a motion by the defense pushed back sentencing for the killer.
It comes down to the District Attorney’s key witness, who placed Heimroth at the scene.
Her son has had a case pending in the DA’s office for robbery. The defense says that’s information prosecutors are required to give them.
“I want to throw up,” Allen’s brother, Joe Rielly, said. “You know, we’ve been through enough.”
On Thursday, Rielly thought he’d see justice for his baby brother and sister-in-law.
Jacob Heimroth was supposed to be sentenced for the murders of Allen and Maria Lockrow. The couple was brutally beaten to death in their Lansingburgh home in August 2014.
The prosecution’s key witness in the trial was Lockrow’s next door neighbor, who dialed 9-1-1.
That same witness has a son who is being prosecuted by the DA’s office.
According to jail records, the witness’ son, Justin Rist, 30, was arrested in Troy, N.Y., in March for first degree robbery, menacing, petit larceny, and criminal possession of a weapon. His case is still pending before the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office.
The defense says prosecutors needed to release that information before Heimroth’s August trial.
“It’s ‘black letter law’ at this point, that they are required to turn that information over and they haven’t,” said Defense Attorney, Joe Ahearn. “It certainly would have changed my entire cross examination of the witness.”
District Attorney Joel Abelove argues his office didn’t know about the relationship between their witness, and a suspect in one of their other pending cases.
“In good faith, we had no idea there was a relationship between one person being prosecuted in our office and a witness in another case,” Abelove said. “We’ll have to see what the law says and we’ll make our arguments based upon it.”
Meanwhile, Rielly remains hopeful that after two long years, his family will get closure.
“The judge is going to look at it,” Rielly said. “I feel confident that he is going to throw it out, but my family is disgusted.”
If the judge approves the motion, it could declare a mistrial.
The defense has until Tuesday to submit their motion. We should know more details of the witness’ son’s case by then. The judge gave the prosecution until October 13 to submit an opposition.