Albany man accused of woman’s death set free under new bail rules

Albany man accused of woman's death set free under new bail rules

(excerpt from Times Union, Jan 3 2020)

ALBANY — It did not take long for New York's criminal justice reforms to impact the Capital Region.

Or, for lawyers on opposing sides to clash bitterly over them.

On Thursday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares highlighted the release of 52-year-old Paul Barbaritano -- a man charged with recklessly choking and stabbing a woman to death in a Brevator Street apartment last July -- as a tragic example of the failure of bail and discovery reforms swept into law in last year's state budget.

In turn, Barbaritano's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rebekah Sokol, said her client mortally injured 29-year-old Nicole Jennings following a sexual encounter involving erotic asphyxiation. Her client, she said, accidentally stabbed Jennings while trying to cut a belt from Jennings' neck.  The two had been using drugs, according to the defense, and knew one another for some time. Barbaritano had self-inflicted wounds.

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