Murder suspect in court today
Woman charged in Phoenicia death has no prior record, sheriff says
The Phoenicia woman charged with second-degree murder in a weekend death is due in court this afternoon.
Solane H. Verraine, 62, is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 12:30 p.m. in Shandaken Town Court, Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright said Monday. He said the case then is to be presented to an Ulster County grand jury.
Verraine was charged late Saturday after police concluded the death of a person at 46 Route
214 in Shandaken hamlet of Phoenicia was the result of Verraine giving the person a lethal combination of alcohol and prescription drugs, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.
Neither Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum nor Carnright would discuss a possible motive on Monday. VanBlarcum said Verraine has no prior criminal record.
Authorities did not provide the name, age and gender of the person who died; VanBlarcum said his office on Monday still was seeking to notify the deceased person’s next of kin.
But Declan Feehan, who owns the Phoenicia Liquor Store at 42 Main St. in the hamlet, said on Sunday that the deceased was Verraine’s husband, Johnny, who he had known for almost two decades.
On her Facebook page, Verraine identifies herself as being married to Johnny Asia and in a Saturday night posting, she wrote: “Please ... light a candle for Johnny that he pass into the light. Thank you. (W)ith all my heart.” Comments responding that post suggested Asia had been ill.
Asia’s Facebook page says he turned 65 in May.
Posts on Asia’s Facebook page early Monday included “So sad to hear that Johnny is gone” and “RIP Johnny, you were one of a kind.”
The Sheriff’s Office said Verraine called town police Saturday evening to report a death in the rear apartment at 46 Route 214 and that after police found the death to be suspicious, they asked for the help of sheriff’s detectives.
Verraine was taken to the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center in Kingston for questioning, and further investigation revealed how the victim died, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office did not say whether Verraine confessed.
Verraine was arraigned in Hurley Town Court and was sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail.
Feehan, the liquor store owner, said he knew both Verraine and Asia and was shocked to learn of the death.
Feehan said the couple met on an online dating site and got married a few years ago. Verraine’s Facebook page says the two wed in October 2014.