Mur­der sus­pect waives hear­ing

Ac­cused killer back in jail af­ter brief court ap­pear­ance

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

The Phoeni­cia woman charged with mur­der­ing her hus­band over the week­end was sent back to the Ul­ster County Jail with­out bail fol­low­ing a brief court ap­pear­ance Tues­day af­ter­noon.

Solane H. Ver­raine con­ferred with her at­tor­ney, Kevin Harp, in Shandaken Town Court be­fore waiv­ing a sched­uled pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing. The case against her will re­main in Town Court for the time be­ing, though, rather than im­me­di­ately be pre­sented to an Ul­ster County grand

jury for a pos­si­ble in­dict­ment.

The case was ad­journed in Town Court un­til 3:30 p.m. Jan. 19.

Ul­ster County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Dana Black­mon said his of­fice will move for­ward with the felony prose­cu­tion even while the Shandaken court main­tains ju­ris­dic­tion of the case. He also said Ver­raine waived the time­li­ness as­pect of the prose­cu­tion and that his of­fice has six months to in­dict her.

Felony cases are tried in county court, rather than lo­cal jus­tice courts.

Ver­raine, 62, was charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der late Satur­day in the death of her hus­band, John W. Owings Jr., 65, a mu­si­cian who went by the stage name Johnny Asia.

The Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said it con­cluded Owings’ death, at 46 Route 214 in the Shandaken ham­let of Phoeni­cia,

was caused by Ver­raine “poi­son[ing] the vic­tim ... with a com­bi­na­tion of al­co­holic bev­er­ages and pre­scrip­tion drugs.”

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 to that post sug­gested her hus­band had been ill.

Ver­raine’s Face­book page says the two wed in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Some friends of both Owings and Ver­raine came to the court Tues­day to show sup­port for the de­fen­dant.

Re­gard­less of what hap­pened, Ver­raine is hurt­ing and needs to know peo­ple are be­hind her, said Phoeni­cia res­i­dent Mar­i­lyn Man­ning.

Man­ning, who knew Owings for about 20 years, said she was stunned when she heard about his death.

“We were all shocked,” Man­ning said. “Stunned. Dev­as­tated.”

Man­ning said she met Ver­raine about three years ago when Ver­raine came to the area to be with Owings but that she never re­ally spent time with them as a cou­ple.

Man­ning said Owings had some health prob­lems, specif­i­cally with his back. But he was health con­scious and walked miles and miles with big dumb­bells in hand, she said.

She also said Owings was “an amaz­ing mu­si­cian,” a tal­ented pain­ter and crafts­man “and funny as hell.”

A Face­book page for Johnny Asia says he turned 65 in May, and posts on the page early Mon­day in­cluded “So sad to hear that Johnny is gone” and “RIP Johnny, you were one of a kind.”

Man­ning said Ver­raine does not have any lo­cal rel­a­tives and that her mother who lives in Michi­gan. An­other friend said Ver­raine has a sis­ter who lives in Mas­sachusetts.

Au­thor­i­ties have not pro­vided a pos­si­ble mo­tive in the case. County Sher­iff Paul VanBlar­cum said Mon­day that Ver­raine has no prior crim­i­nal record.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Mur­der sus­pect Solane Ver­raine is es­corted into Shandaken Town Court on Tues­day.

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