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Vincent Carozza Indictment

Published: 9/5/2019

For More Information Contact:

William V. Grady, District Attorney

District Attorney William Grady announced today that his office will move to dismiss Indictment 29/2019, which charges Vincent Carozza with Arson in the Second Degree, in the Interest of Justice.

According to District Attorney Grady:

"As in all cases, my responsibility is to ensure that the safety of the community is weighed with the relevant needs of the defendant."

"The Indictment in this case charges that Mr. Carozza, a Special Needs Individual with Autism, while a resident at the Taconic DDSO Facility in Amenia, attempted to start a fire and cause damage to a building knowing that other people were present at the time."

"Shortly after he was arraigned, Mr. Carozza was examined at the request of his attorney and found incompetent to stand trial and he remains confined at Sunmount, a state facility for people with Developmental Disabilities."

"During the pendency of this case I have both personally met with and later spoken to Mr. Carozza’s father to better understand his son’s needs and to explain how the criminal process works."

"In an effort to facilitate the competency process and an eventual disposition of the criminal case coupled with mental health programming, I requested and recommended placing Mr. Carozza in an "outpatient status" under a rarely used section of the Criminal Procedure Law so that he could continue to receive the necessary "competency" treatment at or near home with his family support system. This would then provide the beneficial environment consistent with our efforts to resolve this case."

"Unfortunately, I have today been notified by Deborah Chard-Wierschem, Director of the Bureau of Intensive Treatment Services for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), that after a clinical review, my request and recommendation has been denied. Although Dr. Chard-Wierschem would not discuss the case any further, it was clear that Ms. Chard-Wierschem felt that Sunmount was better equipped to deal with Mr. Carozza’s developmental disability issues."

"In light of this decision and all of the other facts and circumstances surrounding this case, we feel that the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is the appropriate agency to address Mr. Carozza’s unique needs. A dismissal in the interest of justice will allow OPWDD to determine what treatment or services are appropriate, now and in the future, for Mr. Carozza uncomplicated by the issue of "competency" which would exist if the criminal matter remained pending."

"Prior to issuing this press release, I have advised Mr. Carozza’s father of this decision."

"Next week we will file the necessary motion in County Court before County Court Judge Edward T. McLoughlin."