ALBANY, NEW YORK – Bryan Fish, age 22, of Schenectady, New York, pled guilty today to two counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury investigating an arson that killed four people in Schenectady.
The announcement was made by United States 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).
In pleading guilty, Fish admitted that he lied under oath to a federal 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. Fish admitted that on May 24, 2013, he provided false testimony regarding his brother, whom Fish claimed: 1) drove Fish, Robert Butler, and Jennica Duell from Saratoga Springs to the vicinity of 438 Hulett Street in the early morning hours of May 2, 2013, 2) popped the trunk so that Butler could remove a gas can and 3) later drove part of the way back to Saratoga Springs.
Fish is the fourth person to be convicted for lying to the federal grand jury investigating the 438 Hulett Street fire. On March 17, 2016, Edward Leon, age 44, of St. Johnsville, New York, was sentenced to 10 years in prison following a jury trial. On September 12, 2016, Duell, age 29, of Schenectady, was sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison. Today, Richard Ramsey, age 48, of Saratoga Springs, New York, was sentenced to imprisonment for 87 months.
Fish faces up to 10 years in prison, as well as a maximum $500,000 fine and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, when he is sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe on September 11, 2017. 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.
United States Richard S. Hartunian said: “We will not let lies stand in the way of holding the perpetrators of this awful crime accountable and securing justice for victims and their families. We are committed to bringing this arson homicide investigation to an end by proving beyond a reasonable doubt who caused this horrific tragedy.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict said: “Providing false statements and testimony when lives have been lost and a small child has been severely injured served only to further victimize a family that had already suffered so much. We will not tolerate the actions of those who believe they can obstruct and hinder the discovery of the truth in this investigation, and our resolve to bring the perpetrators of this barbaric arson to justice will not wane.”
The charges resulted from an ongoing investigation being conducted 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 Attorney Wayne A. Myers.