DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 21, 2016
Richard S. Hartunian
, United States Attorney
Contact: FAUSA Grant Jaquith

Saratoga Springs Man Indicted for Perjury in Schenectady Arson Homicide Investigation

ALBANY, NEW YORK – An indictment unsealed today charges Richard Ramsey, age 47, of Saratoga Springs, New York, with four counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury investigating an arson that killed four people in Schenectady.

 

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the New York Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

 

Ramsey had his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel, and was held pending his arraignment and detention hearing on Monday, October 24 at 1:30 p.m.

 

The indictment alleges that the false declarations were made before a grand jury investigating the fire on or about May 2, 2013 at 438 Hulett Street in Schenectady, New York, that caused the deaths of David Terry and three young children, seriously injured another child, and destroyed the building and the personal property inside.  The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

The indictment alleges that Ramsey testified under oath before the grand jury on October 11, 2013, January 10, 2014, and May 5, 2016, and gave four sets of statements that were irreconcilably contradictory and inconsistent to the degree that one of them was necessarily false.

 

Count One of the indictment alleges that on October 11, 2013, Ramsey testified that he allowed Robert Butler to use his car on May 2, 2013, and then, on May 5, 2016, gave irreconcilably contradictory testimony about having done so.  Count Two alleges that on January 10, 2014, Ramsey testified that he drove his car to a specific location so that Robert Butler could later use it to drive to Schenectady on May 2, 2013, and then, on May 5, 2016, gave irreconcilably contradictory testimony about having done so.  Count Three alleges that on January 10, 2014, Ramsey testified that he affixed a New York license plate he found in a barn to his car and that license plate was on his car on May 2, 2013, but then, on May 5, 2016, gave irreconcilably contradictory testimony about the license plate.  Count Four alleges that on October 11, 2013 and January 10, 2014, Ramsey testified that he took his car to a junkyard to be scrapped because he believed it had been used by Robert Butler to drive to 438 Hulett Street to set the fire, but then, on May 5, 2016, gave irreconcilably contradictory testimony about why he took the car to a junkyard to be scrapped.

 

If convicted, Ramsey faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a $250,000 fine on each count, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. If convicted on all four counts, Ramsey faces a total maximum sentence of imprisonment of 20 twenty years and a $1,000,000 fine (in addition to supervised release for up to 3 years). A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

 

The charges announced today result from an ongoing investigation into the fatal fire conducted by ATF, the Schenectady Police Department, and the Schenectady Fire Department. This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Assistant United States Attorney Wayne A. Myers. 

 

The ATF notes that there is a reward of up to a total of $40,000 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 is encouraged to call ATF at 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473), or email ATFTips@atf.gov, or contact ATF through its web site at www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips.  Tips may also be submitted to ATF through the “report it” app, available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or by visiting www.reportit.com.

  

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Field Division: New York Field Division