Phone calls linked to killing

Sus­pect was the ben­e­fi­ciary of vic­tim’s life in­sur­ance pol­icy

Albany Times Union - - CAPITAL REGION - By Robert Gavin

Sch­enec­tady Tarc­hand Lall sat qui­etly in Sch­enec­tady County Court on Fri­day as a pros­e­cu­tor de­scribed him as a greedy killer who ar­ranged one as­so­ciate’s mur­der and plot­ted to get an­other man to fa­tally over­dose on heroin — all for life in­sur­ance pro­ceeds.

As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Peter Wil­lis told ju­rors that Lall or­ches­trated the Nov. 19, 2016 mur­der of 49-year-old Charles “Chuck” Dem­brosky, who was gunned down out­side his Camp­bell Av­enue home in the city’s Belle­vue neigh­bor­hood, shot in the neck.

Two Delaware-based hit­men, Jo­e­vany “Moon” Luna, 43, and Kyshaan Moore, 28, were con­victed in May of car­ry­ing out the mur­der. Wil­lis said Lall paid the killers $10,000. Ev­i­dence in­cluded cell­phone records, which showed that on the night of the mur­der their phone pinged off tow­ers from Wilm­ing­ton, Del., to Sch­enec­tady.

“This was a mur­der for hire. There is no doubt,” Wil­lis told ju­rors be­fore Judge Matthew Syp­niewski. “And there will be no doubt when you see all of the

ev­i­dence in this case.”

The pros­e­cu­tor later added: “Charles Dem­brosky paid the ul­ti­mate price in this case — with his life.”

Six months be­fore the slay­ing, Lall, a con­trac­tor, con­vinced Dem­brosky, his part-time con­struc­tion em­ployee, to make him a ben­e­fi­ciary on his life in­sur­ance pol­icy. They were listed as do­mes­tic part­ners, Wil­lis said, which was un­true. He said in the months lead­ing to the killing, Lall re­peat­edly con­tacted the in­surer to make sure the pol­icy was in ef­fect.

He said Lall later ap­proached Chad Ray­mond, a friend of Dem­brosky, and got him to make Lall a ben­e­fi­ciary on an­other in­sur­ance pol­icy. When Lall was later ar­rested and in the Sch­enec­tady County jail, the pros­e­cu­tor said, Lall ap­proached an in­mate and tried to get him to kill Ray­mond.

Ac­cord­ing to Wil­lis, Lall told the in­mate, “I’ll pay your bail. I’ll get you out of jail if you go find Chad and get him to over­dose on heroin.”

Wil­lis said the in­mate was not in­ter­ested. He said Lall later of­fered a Sch­enec­tady County jail in­mate $1,500 to get Luna to write a state­ment ex­on­er­at­ing Lall of the mur­der, but it fell through.

Lall, a na­tive of Guyana who was once ac­tive in the Sch­enec­tady Premier Soft­ball Cricket League, is charged with first-de­gree mur­der, con­spir­acy, weapons charges, life set­tle­ment fraud and crim­i­nal so­lic­i­ta­tion.

Cheryl Cole­man, the at­tor­ney for Lall, told

ju­rors they would not see a sin­gle eye­wit­ness to the crime, DNA nor bal­lis­tics ev­i­dence.

“As to the al­le­ga­tion Mr. Wil­lis was dis­cussing about the do­mes­tic part­ner­ship,” Cole­man told ju­rors, “I’m go­ing to sim­ply say that in this case the ev­i­dence falls squarely into the ‘don’t askdon’t tell.’ You’re not go­ing to know one way or the other what was or wasn’t the re­la­tion­ship.”

Ev­i­dence at pros­e­cu­tors’ dis­posal in­cludes street sur­veil­lance video out­side Lall’s home in Mont Pleas­ant. It cap­tured im­ages of a red 2015 Mazda car out­side Lall’s home match­ing the one used by Luna and Moore.

In his open­ing state­ment, Wil­lis ex­plained Dem­brosky left be­hind a crit­i­cal piece of ev­i­dence – his cell­phone. It con­tained the num­bers of past call­ers, the last three of which came from a cell­phone in the 484 area code in Philadel­phia. Dem­brosky had never re­ceived a call from that num­ber pre­vi­ously, Wil­lis said.

Wil­lis said po­lice tracked the records of the 484 area code phone and learned that Lall had called the num­ber re­peat­edly — be­fore and af­ter Dem­brosky was mur­dered – in lengthy con­ver­sa­tions. Wil­lis said po­lice ques­tioned Lall in Jan­uary 2017.

He told them he did not know the num­ber or the iden­tity of the caller.

The pros­e­cu­tor said po­lice learned that on the night of the mur­der, the 484 cell­phone pinged off cell­phone tow­ers from the Wilm­ing­ton, Del., area to Sch­enec­tady, cor­re­spond­ing to the time pe­riod of the mur­der.

Robert Gavin / Times Union

De­fense at­tor­ney Cheryl Cole­man speaks with Tarc­hand Lall at his first-de­gree mur­der trial in Sch­enec­tady County Court on Fri­day.

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