For Immediate Release
Leon Convicted of Perjury
Made False Statements to Grand Jury During an Arson-Homicide Investigation
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Today, a federal jury trial culminated in the conviction of Edward A. Leon, 43, of St. Johnsville, New York, of two counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Delano A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New York Field Division.
Leon faces an aggregate maximum sentence of imprisonment of 10 years (5 years for each count of conviction), a $500,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of up to five years when he is sentenced on March 8, 2016 by United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe.
The jury voted to convict on November 12, following a three-day trial. The perjury convictions are for two false declarations that Leon made in testimony before a grand jury conducting an investigation into the fire on May 2, 2013 at 438 Hulett Street in Schenectady, New York, which caused the deaths of David Terry and three young children, seriously injured another child, and destroyed the building and the personal property inside.
Leon falsely testified regarding his travel on May 2, 2013, claiming that he had driven straight from the Cumberland Farms in Palatine Bridge to work in Amsterdam, New York, when he had actually driven first to Schenectady, was driving on Hamilton Street near its intersection with Hulett Street, and was in the area of 438 Hulett Street at the time of the fire. Leon also falsely testified in denying that he had used a particular telephone to send text messages to David Terry, some of which were threatening, from April 25 to 29, 2013.
"The defendant’s perjury was a flagrant affront to the integrity of our system of justice and the fact-finding process," stated U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. "He intentionally impeded the investigation into an arson murder, with very significant consequences. Neither the defendant’s crime nor the passage of time have dimmed our resolve to secure justice for the victims and their families. We are grateful for the outstanding work and dedication of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Schenectady Police Department, and of the Schenectady Fire Department."
This case was investigated by the ATF, the Schenectady Police Department, and the Schenectady Fire Department. The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U. S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Assistant United States AttorneyWayne A. Myers.
Further questions or inquiries may be directed to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaquith at 518-431-0247.
The ATF is offering a reward of up to $12,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the arson that occurred on May 2, 2013 at 438 Hulett Street in Schenectady, resulting in personal injury and death. All information will be treated confidentially and the callers will remain anonymous if requested. Anyone having information should call the ATF Albany Field Office at 518-431-4182, or email ATFTips@atf.gov.