Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III announced today that a jury returned a verdict of guilty on a violent felony of Assault 2nd and Criminal Possession of a Weapon, misdemeanor, after deliberating since last Friday on the case against Daniel P. Taylor (d.o.b. 10-10-83) of 500 South Shore Road, East Caroga Lake, NY for stabbing a man in the parking lot of the former Northern Lights, (now known as Upstate Concert Hall) a dance club/bar and music venue in Clifton Park, New York. The 2 day music event was called "Rat-atat-tat" where there was music, tattoo artists and tarot card readers. The featured band was "Sick of It".
The trial was before the Hon. Jerry J. Scarano, County Court Judge.
The stabbing occurred on November 26, 2011. Assistant District Attorneys Debra Kaelin and Michele Schettino tried the case which lasted for more than two weeks in which the prosecution called more than 25 witnesses and entered more than 100 pieces of physical evidence including photographs, the victim's clothing, video of the defendant, surveillance video from surrounding businesses, and forensic evidence. The knife was never recovered.
In speaking to the jury after the trial, which is an unusual yet sought after opportunity, the jurors indicated that they had a tough time in understanding the "self-defense" charge. Further they said that because the defendant only stabbed the victim once, they questioned the defendant's intent to cause serious physical injury.
The People maintained that the intent was shown in a number of deliberate actions the defendant took. These actions resulted in only one stab wound, but a substantial 16 inch slice, from one side of the rib cage to the other, and a laceration to the liver of approximately 7 inches across and nearly 2 inches deep into that organ.
The conviction stems from an incident where Taylor attacked an unarmed man in the parking lot who he believed was following his girlfriend. After the brutal stabbing, he walked away from the victim, then discarded the knife he had brought with him in an effort to hide it from authorities and caught up with the girlfriend.
Assistant DA Kaelin said "the jury listened very carefully, reviewed the evidence and made the appropriate decision as to who was telling the truth. They did not 'buy into' the baseless self-defense claim."
District Attorney Murphy said "ADA Kaelin had an uphill battle with the tale the defendant told on the witness stand. I believe in the jury system and I'm thankful for the work of the jurors. Without their efforts this man would not face the consequences for stabbing an innocent unarmed victim."
The prosecutors praised the work of the New York State Police, the Forensic Investigation Unit, as well at the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department for their work in investigating the case.
The defendant faces up to 7 years in prison and up to 3 years of post-release supervision. Sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2013 before Judge Scarano in Ballston Spa, NY.