Latest news and conversation around the news from Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley.
BloggersSarah Armaghan Nik Bonopartis John Dyer Meghan E. Murphy Timothy O'Connor Matt Sartwell Kenneth Schachter Jillian Sederholm Christian Wade Thomas Zambito Ryan Chatelain Mae Cheng Karl de Vries Nirmal Mitra
Richard Leak infant death case among murder trials highlighting busy week in Westchester courts
This week will be a busy one for Westchester County courts and the federal courthouse right down the block in White Plains, with two murder trials set to start.
Here are some of the bigger cases on the calendar:
- Michael Saunders, 50, of Yonkers, will go to trial in Westchester County Court on second-degree murder charges in the March 2012 death of his infant child's mother, Sabrina Durrah, 35. Prosecutors charge that Saunders, a bus driver, shot Durrah dead inside her White Plains apartment. Saunders has pleaded not guilty.
- Richard Leak, 32, of New Rochelle, is scheduled to stand trial in Westchester County Court on second-degree murder charges in the Jan. 9, 2011, death of his 2-year-old son Khalil Leak. Police said Leak fractured the toddler's skull. He has pleaded not guilty.
- Richard Vale, 47, of the Bronx, will face a jury in Westchester County Court on first-degree robbery charges. He is accused of being part of a three-man ring that posed as cops and burst into a Hastings home at 22 Main St. on Jan. 10, 2012. They held the home's occupants at gunpoint and forced them to hand over $5,000 cash, prosecutors said. Vale has pleaded not guilty.
- Kadian Gilzeane, 28, of Mount Vernon is due in Westchester County Court for a trial readiness hearing Tuesday. Gilzeane is accused of smothering her newborn baby and stuffing the infant, wrapped in plastic, under a bathroom sink. Gilzeane has been charged with second-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty.
- Amey Cooper, 40, of New Rochelle, and Gregory Smith of Mount Vernon have a telephone conference scheduled Thursday in U.S. District Court in their police brutality lawsuit against the New Rochelle Police Department. Cooper and Smith claim that on Nov. 1, 2008, they were roughed up and Cooper's Jeep Cherokee was trashed by New Rochelle cops who stopped them after a police informant told police Smith had just bought illegal drugs.